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Cervus nippon - Sika deer

French name:  Cerf sika
Dutch name: Sikahert
Family: Cervidae
Group: Mammals
Origin: Asia
Habitat: terrestrial
Introduction:  game/fish stocking
ISEIA Score : 12
This species is not yet naturalised in Belgium.
Establishment potential in Belgium : high
It is already invasive in : France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Reproduction in the wild: no
Dispersion potential: high
Natural habitats: high
More on naturalization and invasiveness: Sika deer is found in dense woodland and scrub, including the thicket stages of coniferous forests and adjacent open ground. It usually prefers early seral stages over mature forests. It can also be found in estuarine reed beds and similar wet areas. Sika is increasing and expanding in several European countries. It may build up to very high local densities before expanding population's range. In Northern Scotland, there has been a rapid population expansion since the 1970s, at a rate of 3-5 km per year.
Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: high
Competition: medium
Disease transmission: likely
Genetic effects: high
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: low
Physical alteration: high
Natural successions: likely
Food web alteration: likely
More on impacts: Sika can build up higher densities than red dear and can cause great environmental and economic damages to forests and wetlands due to ring barking (especially in hard winters), browsing, bole-scoring, trampling, etc. Hybrids with the native congeneric red deer are fertile, and further hybridisation or back-crossing to either parental type is rapidly threatening the genetic integrity of the native species. Sika are often reported to be better competitors than native deer species (e.g. roe deer). As with other deer species, sika are a possible source of bovine turbeculosis. They also play a role in the epidemiology of the nematode Asworthius sidemi, affecting other mammal species.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, Licoppe Alain, Motte Grégory, Schockert Vinciane, Stuyck Jan
Published on:  23 March 2009
Last update:  11 December 2013
Bartos, L. (2009)
Sika deer in continental Europe.
In: McCullough et al (Eds), Sika deer: biology and management of native and introduced populations, Springer Japan: 573-594.
Battersby, J. (2005)
UK mammals: species status and population trends.
JNCC/Tracking Mammals Partnership.
Fuller, R.J.& Gill, R.M.A. (2001)
Ecological impacts of deer in woodland.
Forestry 74(3): 189-192.
Gebhardt, H. (1996)
Ecological and economic consequences of introductions of exotic wildlife(birds and mammals) in Germany.
Wildlife Biology 2: 205-211.
Genovesi, P. & Putman, R. (2006)
Cervus nippon.
DAISIE factsheet.
Gill, R.M.A. (1992)
A review of damage by mammals in north temperate forest: 1. Deer.
Forestry 65(2): 145-169.
Gill, R.M.A. & Fuller, R.J. (2007)
The effects of deer browsing on woodland structure and songbirds in lowland Britain.
Ibis 149: 117-129.
Goodman, S.J., Barton, N.H., Swanson, G., Abernethy, K. & Pemberton, J.M. (1999)
Introgression through rare hybridization: a genetic study of a hybrid zone between red and sika deer (Genus Cervus) in Argyll, Scotland.
Genetics 152:355–371.
Harris, S., Morris, P., Wray, S. & Yalden, D. (1995)
A review of British mammals: population estimates and conservation status of British mammals other than cetaceans.
Mitchell-Jones, A. J., Amori, G., Bogdanowicz, W., Kryštufek, B., Reijnders, P. J. H., Spitzenberger, F., Stubbe, M., Thissen, J. B. M., Vohralík, V. & Zima, J. (1999)
The Atlas of European Mammals.
Poyser, London.
Pascal, M., Lorvelec, OL, Vigne J.D., Keith, P. & Clergeau, P. (2003)
Evolution holocène de la faune de vertébrés de France: invasions et extinctions.
Saint-Andrieux, C., Pfaff, E. & Guibert, B. (2009)
Le daim et le cerf sika en France: nouvel inventaire.
Faune sauvage 285: 10-15.
Swanson, G.M. & Putman, R. (2009)
Sika deer in the British Isles.
In: McCullough et al (Eds), Sika deer: biology and management of native and introduced populations, Springer Japan: 595-614.
Ward, A.I. (2005)
Expanding ranges of wild and feral deer in Great Britain.
Mammal Review 35: 165-173.
White, P.C.L., Ward, A.I., Smart, J.C.R. & Moore, N.P. (2004)
Impacts of deer and deer management on woodland biodiversity in the English lowlands.
Final report, The Woodland Trust.
Wittenberg, R. (2005)
An inventory of alien species and their threat to biodiversity and economy in Switzerland.
CABI Bioscience Switzerland Centre report to the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape. The environment in practice no. 0629: 155p.

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