The red deer inhabits Europe, Asia, Africa. Human beings also introduced it to South America, Australia and New Zealand. In Poland they occur in every large forest complex. Depending on the inhabited region they differ in size and color. The red deer is a daytime animal but they feed at dusk and hide in the thicket in the daytime because of the fear of predators and the man. Their food consists of springs, leaves, bark and fruit of trees and shrubs, grasses, cereals, herbs, potatoes, beetroots, dried grasses in the winter, moss, lichens, buds and young springs of coniferous trees. The deer are famous for their beautiful antlers and loud roars during the mating season. This period is called the rut. It starts in autumn. Males challenge their rivals and fight for the biggest number of females. During the rut they completely forget about food and lose a dozen of kilograms. In spring they lose their antlers. Females give birth to fawns in hiding. Juveniles camouflage themselves easily and their fur is covered with light spots which imitate sun stains on the ground.
- Latin name: Cervus elaphus
- IUCN Red List – LC (least concern)