A Policy for Sika Deer in Scotland
- Sika deer are not native to the British Isles. Since their introduction from Japan, populations have spread and are now present over at least one third of Scotland's red deer range.
- Sika deer cause unacceptable damage to woodlands and agricultural production.
- Sika deer are extremely productive and can reach higher densities than other deer species in similar habitats. They are more difficult to control than red and roe deer.
- Within existing legislation there must be rigorous control of all sika deer throughout their range.
- A major effort must be made to remove sika deer from the open hill.
- Forest design should be constantly reviewed to account for the needs of sika deer control.
- Sika hybridise with red deer and produce fertile offspring. Sika pose a threat to the genetic integrity of the Scottish red deer stock.
- The establishment of refugia for native red deer on some of the Hedrides will be pursed. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Schedule 9) will be rigorously enforced. Any introductions of red deer to refuge areas in the future will need to be carefully assessed.
- The primary aim of sika deer management should be to protect woodlands, agriculture and the wider natural heritage interests.
Link to full report by the Scottish Deer Commission
© Scottish Deer Commission, March 2000
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