HjortAreal 2007-2001 (completed)
About the project
The project will provide a basis to predict the potential for production of red deer based on detailed knowledge of the natural and farmed habitat as well as detailed studies of red deer habitat use in multiple areas. The yield of red deer reached 27600 in 2005. Red deer thus constitute the 2nd most important game species (in meat value), and the one with the fastest increase in yield. The potential income from red deer hunting is therefore increasing, particularly along the west coast. Here, landowners have their main income (on the farm) from livestock and to some extent forestry. Due to recent decreased income from livestock, it has been suggested to develop hunting of red deer as an important addition to more traditional land use. We know that red deer damage agricultural pastures, but not how much red deer use farmed habitat relative to different types of natural habitat and how this affects production parameters of the deer (total number of deer, body weights and calving rates). Due to migration, management often comes short in preventing substantial biases between the red deer related costs and benefits experienced among landowners. Similar problems of cost-benefit distribution have been explored in detail for moose.
We aim to use these results to parameterize a bioeconomical model to also be valid for the challenges faced by the red deer management, thereby providing the potential for changing farming practises and going for red deer hunting as a livelihood. Funding from the user side to mark red deer with GPS collars along the west coast is already granted. Deer production data is available from NINA. We currently lack relevant habitat maps to be linked to the red deer GPS- and production data. The expertise of making such maps exists at HiT, the practical skills of marking deer is held by the user side, while the skills of analysing the red deer data exist at UiO together with their international collaborators. The economic part will be done in collaboration with economists at the NTNU. This part will include optimality modelling as well as a questionnaire to investigate how important red deer is to the economy of landowners today, to identify niches in the market. We believe that this project will provide essential knowledge on the potential for production of red deer in traditional farmland areas – in particular along the west coast were other good alternatives are scarce.