#AgriDeer: Damage and beyond: role of farmland for red deer populations

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Red deer grazing cause damages, but also affect the red deer population development (Photo Erling Meisingset, Nibio)

About the project

Agricultural practices are changing globally putting biodiversity at risk. However, agriculture also contributes with subsidies to wildlife in the form of high quality forage. In this way, the natural and farmed landscapes have coupled dynamics.

Farmland constitute only 3 % of Norway’s land area and are naturally placed on the most fertile soils. Land use and climate changes have contributed to an extreme growth in the populations of red deer causing damages to farmland crops. Yet, we have little quantitative knowledge of how much farming contribute to the production of wild red deer, the drivers of red deer use of farmland, and how we can predict damages as a basis for damage mitigation.

#AgriDeer is organized in four work packages (WP) that aim to resolve these issues. We aim to quantify (WP1) how use of farmland by red deer vary at the individual level depending on age and sex, and at a landscape level depending on farmland availability, climate and population density, (WP2) how much farmland affect diet and parasitism of red deer (using metabarcoding approaches), (WP3) how use of farmland affect population dynamics of red deer (using Integral Projection models and Integrated Population models), and lastly, (WP4) assess how well red deer habitat use and population density can predict broad level damage by red deer across wide environmental gradients.

An overview of #AgriDeer work packages, their connections, output and institutions involved.
Figure 1. An overview of #AgriDeer work packages, their connections, output and institutions involved.

We have a unique database of >700 GPS-marked red deer. Management of natural resources takes place within a socio-ecological system, and it is becoming increasingly clear that co-design and co-production of knowledge with important user groups is becoming an effective tool for implementation and use of science. #AgriDeer will provide essential knowledge on the role of farmland for red deer ecology as a basis for damage mitigation, and the active participation of the Landbruk Nordvest, Norwegian Environment Agency, the Norw. Farmer Union and the Norw. Forestry Association secure likelihood of high societal impact.

Objectives

The primary objective is to understand the role of farmland to the wild red deer population under climate change as a basis for damage prediction and control.
We will achieve the primary objective by fulfilling the following secondary objectives:
1) quantify how use vary at the individual level depending on age and sex, and at a landscape level depending on farmland availability, climate and population density,
2) quantify how much farmland affect diet and parasite load of red deer,
3) quantify how use of farmland affect population dynamics of red deer, and
4) quantify broad level of damage by red deer across wide environmental gradients.

Outcomes

Knowledge about patterns and drivers of red deer use of and damage to agriculture as a basis for mitigation. 

Sub-projects

  • WP1. Red deer use of agricultural pastures.
  • WP2. Red deer diet and parasitism.
  • WP3. Population estimation and modelling.
  • WP4. Red deer damages to agriculture.

Financing

This Project is funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN)

RCN Project Number: 318575 (Project data bank at RCN)

UiO Project Number: 145141

Cooperation

Norsk institutt for naturforskning, Norsk institutt for bioøkonomi, Landbruk Nordvest, Miljødirektoratet, Norges Bondelag og Norges Skogeierforbund  

Period

01.01.2021 - 30.06.2024

Tags: red deer, agriculture
Published Apr. 7, 2021 11:46 AM - Last modified Aug. 5, 2021 2:25 PM