Ageing deer by tooth eruption and wear

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Ageing deer by tooth eruption and wear

Over the last decades deer populations have increased in number and distribution throughout Italy. Deer can have a strong impact on habitat and human activities. Therefore, it is necessary to pursue a medium and long term conservation and management strategy based on the definition of population trends and dynamics. The knowledge of population structure is essential for the achievement of these goals.

This guide provides a critical review of the current ageing techniques and points out the salient drawbacks and advantages of each technique and the associated management implications. It contains a laboratory notebook including a protocol for ageing histological samples and identification keys of age classes for red and fallow deer, with separate keys for habitat and sex. These tools allow to collect standardized data and can be used to determine the age structure of a deer population as well as  to assess the impact of harvest on population structure.

Handbooks and guidelines
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