Dutch roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), review of cases presented at the Dutch Wildlife Health Centre
MetadataShow full item record
The European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) is one of the most common wild mammals in the Netherlands (Rijks et al., 2011). Worldwide, not much deer have been more thoroughly studied than roe deer, from many different perspectives such as: behaviour, reproductive physiology and antler production (Borkowski & Ukalska, 2008; Geist, 1998; Linnell, Duncan, & Andersen, 1998). For many years, the population of Dutch roe deer was growing, from 5000 in 1951 until approximately 64.000 in 2008, which was the last published count (Reewild, duurzaam beheer.2012; CBS; centraal bureau voor statistiek.31 January, 2013; Montizaan & Siebenga, 2010). During hunting season, hunters try to maintain a healthy population by preventing too high densities and remove roe deer of ill-health from the population (Reewild, duurzaam beheer.2012; Montizaan & Siebenga, 2010). The Latin name, Capreolus, literally means little goat (Goss, 1983). This is not a strange name as many pathogens known to infect goats and sheep have close relations with those known to infect roe deer and thereby, many disorders are described to be the same in roe deer, goat and sheep. However, there are few published papers describing pathogens and diseases in Dutch roe deer and before 2008, little was known about their health status. Since 2008, roe deer are frequently submitted to the Dutch Wildlife Health Centre (DWHC) for post-mortem examination, but an overview of these submitted cases and their pathological findings, has not yet been made. This study provides that overview, consisting of the diseases and causes of death as observed in roe deer presented at the DWHC at the Utrecht University. This study also defines the most frequently observed pathological findings and their temporal and spatial distribution, which does not necessarily represent what is occurring in the natural environment, but it provides an indication of the distribution of diseases in roe deer in the Netherlands. It also explores the most frequently observed etiological findings and their relation to one or more risk factors.