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Natura 2000Life

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There are two hypothesis about the origin of this Red Deer, the biggest mammal of Sardinia and Corsica: the first theory is that a small group of deers coming from Italy, reached this islands during the Wurm glaciations, when Sardinia and Corsica were a unique block and Northern Corsica was separated from Tuscany by narrow and shallow sea. The second theory is that it could be imported by prehistoric man.

This subspecies is endemic of Sardinia and Corsica, and: 

  • until the 1900s some authors describe it as common and widespread;
  • at the beginning of 20th century the Sardinian Red Deer was distributed in Sardinia, in particularly in the highlands, but its density was reduced. In the 1950s it was possible to find only in three different areas in Sardinia (Arbus, Sulcis, Sarrabus) At the end of 1960s the population of Sardinian Red Deer was extremely small and this subspecies was included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species;
  • in the last decades in Sardinia natural population of this subspecies increased; 
  • in the 1980s and the 1990s 14 specimens have been transferred from Sardinia to Corsica (fences of Quenza and Casabianda first). Since 1998 the Red Deers have been released (239 specimens in 11 years). Now the subspecies is distributed in 5 areas: Montifau/Castifau, Venancais, Deux Sorru, Fium’Orbu and Alta Rocca;

The census conducted by Ente Foreste della Sardegna and Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (I.S.P.R.A.) monitor year by year the population.