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Kašperské Hory, Czech Republic

Krojerova-Prokesova J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Barancekova M.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Sustr P.,Sumava National Park | Heurich M.,Bavarian Forest National Park
Wildlife Biology | Year: 2010

We studied diet composition of red deer Cervus elaphus in the Bohemian Forest by micro-histological analysis of 207 samples of red deer faeces obtained on the Czech and the Bavarian side of the border. We carried out the research from October 2006 to February 2008, and collected samples every two months at nine monitoring plots that were situated at different altitudes (i.e. from 600 to 1,250 m a.s.l.). Our results confirmed the classification of red deer among intermediate feeders with a mixed diet of graminoids (29.4%) and concentrate food items (60.6%). Concentrate food items were dominant in their diet all year round; however, the diet composition during the winter season differed from the diet composition during the vegetation season. This change was mainly represented by the strong increase in consumption of coniferous trees (from 5.7 to 26.4%) during winter. The amount of graminoids in the diet was higher during the vegetation season, which was caused by the intensive consumption of graminoids at two top-hill plots (up to 90% per sample). Likewise bilberry, Vaccinium myrtillus, with ripe berries was identified as an important food source only at the mountain ridge (up to 33% per sample). In agreement with our prediction, the diet composition of red deer at windthrow gaps (Blatn vrch Hill and Schachtenau) differed from the diet composition at undisturbed forest sites. At the gaps, ferns were an intensively consumed food source (up to 80% per sample). Contrary to other mountain areas, ferns made up a much larger share of the diet not only during autumn and winter but also during spring and summer. At Schachtenau, red deer also fed extensively on bramble Rubus sp., which intensively proliferates at the gaps. Diet composition of red deer in the Bohemian Forest differed between seasons, between plots at the mountain ridge and plots situated at lower altitudes as well as between windthrow gaps and undisturbed forest sites. However, further research of diet selectivity is necessary to explain in detail the observed feeding patterns. © Wildlife Biology, NKV. Source

Heurich M.,Bavarian Forest National Park | Most L.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Schauberger G.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Reulen H.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2012

The return of the Eurasian Lynx to Central Europe has led to a number of conflicts. A primary subject of discussion involves its predation on other wildlife species. Here, we investigated the influence of lynx on its main prey, Roe Deer, in the Bavarian Forest National Park in south-eastern Germany. We compared the survival rates of deer before and after reintroduction of lynx. The analysis is based on data from 1984 to 1988 and 2005 to 2008 of 88 and 99 radio-collared Roe Deer, respectively. During the first period, 35 deer deaths were documented; during the second period, 41 deaths were documented. The causes of death in the second period were lynx 44%, road kill 15%, hunting 12%, and other causes 29%. We used the Cox model to determine the influence of covariables on the hazard rate, which made it possible to consider interactions between the variables. The resulting model includes the four main effects sex, age, presence of lynx, and severity of first winter, and the three interactions-presence of lynx:sex, age:severity of first winter, and sex:severity of first winter, which had a statistically significant influence on Roe Deer survival. © 2012 Springer-Verlag. Source

Fickel J.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Bubliy O.A.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Stache A.,Bavarian Forest National Park | Noventa T.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | And 2 more authors.
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2012

Anthropogenic impact such as overhunting and habitat fragmentation has reduced the total red deer population (Cervus elaphus) across Europe. In Germany remaining subpopulations are even confined to designated areas with limited or no gene flow among them. Red deer populations inhabiting the Bavarian-Bohemian forest ecosystem had been divided by a fortified State border between Germany and former Czechoslovakia. To assess red deer genetic diversity more than two decades after the removal of the fortifications, we analysed a population from the Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany, and one from the National Park Šumava, Czech Republic, using 11 microsatellite loci and a 910bp long section of the mitochondrial control region (mtDNA). Bayesian analyses of microsatellite allele frequencies favoured the presence of a single population in the Bavarian-Bohemian forest ecosystem over other population genetic structures. This admixture was supported by a lack of population pairwise differentiation between German and Czech red deer microsatellite genotypes in the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA, F ST=0.009, p=0.383). Contrastingly, AMOVA revealed a highly significant matrilinear differentiation of mtDNA between the two samples (Φ ST=0.285, p=0.002), whereby German red deer belonged predominantly to haplogroup A (western Europe) and Czech red deer predominantly to haplogroup C (eastern Europe). In combination, these findings indicated a high degree of philopatry by does and extensive gene flow across the former border mediated by stags. They also identified the Bavarian-Bohemian forest ecosystem as part of a suture zone between western and eastern European red deer matrilines. © 2011 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde. Source

Magg N.,Bavarian Forest National Park | Muller J.,Bavarian Forest National Park | Heibl C.,TU Munich | Hacklander K.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | And 5 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2015

A population of Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx was established by reintroductions in the Bohemian Forest Ecosystem in the 1970s and 1980s. The most recent information on the population status indicates that the distribution has stagnated since the late 1990s, for unknown reasons. We assessed the availability of suitable habitat along the Austrian–German–Czech border, and hypothesized that the Bohemian–Bavarian lynx population is not in equilibrium with habitat suitability. Based on global positioning system data from 10 radio-collared lynx, we used a maximum entropy approach to model suitable habitat. Variables reflecting anthropogenic influence contributed most to the model and were negatively associated with the occurrence of lynx. We evaluated the model prediction using independent records of lynx from monitoring in Bavaria, Germany. Using our habitat approach we estimated the area of potential habitat, based on a mean annual home range of 445 km2 for males and 122 km2 for females. Our results indicated there were 12,415 km2 of suitable habitat, distributed among 13 patches, for a potential population of c. 142 (93–160) resident lynx. We assessed connectivity via least-cost paths and found that all suitable patches could be reached by the lynx. A comparison with the current distribution of lynx, however, confirms that a significant proportion of suitable habitat is not occupied, which indicates that the distribution is limited by factors other than habitat, with illegal killing being the most likely cause. Our study provides crucial information for the development of a conservation strategy and regional planning for the Bohemian–Bavarian lynx population. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2015 Source

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