The red deer of the Bosco Mesola Nature Reserve (northern Italy) constitute a population with relevance for zoogeography, genetics and conservation. We have analysed morphometrics of Mesola red deer (body weight, craniometry, stature, antler conformation and size) over a c. 30 year period (1980-2012), to (i) describe in detail their physical traits, (ii) compare them with those of other European populations and (iii) assess the effects of conservation actions on biometric measures of individuals. Mesola red deer were on average 15-50% lighter and at least 8-15% smaller than other European red deer. The sexual size dimorphism was low and significant only for adults. Body growth rate was also slower than that of the other European populations. While the average relative production of antler bone tissue appeared not to be different from that of other European red deer, antlers of Mesola stags were small and scarcely branched, with short trez tines. Bez tine and crown were rare and present almost exclusively in fully mature stags (2.2 and 3.6% of antler beams in adult stags, respectively). Environmental improvements led to significant favourable effects on antler size and complexity. All observed individuals had a distinct but slight spotting of the summer coat. These morphological characteristics, coupled with genetic peculiarities, make the Mesola red deer unique, deserving special protection. © 2014 Unione Zoologica Italiana.
Scheda prodotto non validato
Scheda prodotto in fase di analisi da parte dello staff di validazione
|Titolo:||Morphometric characterization of Mesola red deer Cervus elaphus italicus (Mammalia: Cervidae)|
|Citazione:||Mattioli, S., & Ferretti, F. (2014). Morphometric characterization of Mesola red deer Cervus elaphus italicus (Mammalia: Cervidae). THE ITALIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 81(1), 144-154.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
File in questo prodotto: