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Deer

Image of a Deer

The deer was reintroduced in the Park thirty years ago, thanks to a series of releases that have started in the state Natural Reserves of the State, and now it is currently present with about 700-800 individuals spread in suitable environments for this species.

The Orfento River and the Orta River Valleys, the St. Spirito Great Valley, the West mountainside of Maiella (in the area of Lama Bianca and Rava del Ferro), as well as – recently -  both mountainsides of Morrone massif are inhabited by the main group of the population of this regal ungulate inhabiting the Park.
During the summer in this territories it is possible to see herds of deer even at high altitudes, in primary grasslands, often in snowfields, where females look for pastures rich in nourishment, for shelter from predators as well as entomophagous insects.

During recent years this species began to colonize also the southern sector of the Park, the area of Pizzi Mounts, of Mount Pizzalto Mount and Mount Rotella, where deers also immigrated from other bordering Protected Areas. From the end of summer, and in particular between September and the end of October, in many areas of the Park it is possible to listen to their characteristic vocalizations - the so called roars - that adult males emit during the reproductive period. Those calls are included - with other ritualized behaviors - in the challenges that males perform during the ritual courting to defense from other competitors for female harems. The herds that during the summer stay at high altitudes, during the winter frequently move to towards environments with a more adequate temperature, with less snow accumulation and more odds of finding food. In those essential wintering areas - like the oak woods along the two mountainsides of the Orta River Valley - it’s possible to observe male adults gathering in small groups after the autumn challenges, and the more numerous herds of female and cubs searching for safeness and protection form predators thanks to the size of their group.

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