Institute for Fish and Wildlife Health


Red Deer on the Swiss Plateau

Within the framework of the project "Red deer on the Swiss Plateau", important information on the improvement of red deer management on the densely populated Swiss Plateau will be compiled in the years 2020-2022. This data will help to ensure sufficient connectivity between red deer populations on the Central Plateau and in the Pre-Alps and the Alps, as well as in the Jura. The aim is to clarify where potential habitats for red deer are located on the Central Plateau and how they are interconnected. We will identify factors responsible for the use or non-use of habitats and migration corridors. The corresponding findings are necessary to adapt red deer management to the situation on the Central Plateau and, above all, to define targeted measures for the preservation of existing or the restoration of impaired / interrupted wildlife corridors. In connection with road safety we investigate, risks of accidents involving red deer and suitable preventive measures.

These questions will be addressed by a telemetry project. For this purpose, free-ranging red deer are equipped with a GPS system. The animals will be monitored with the help of GPS telemetry and observations over a period of 1-2 years. This makes it possible to determine the respective whereabouts of the animals in the Central Plateau with a high temporal resolution and great precision and to derive data on space and habitat use from this. In addition, the catches will provide an opportunity to collect genetic samples from the red deer on the Central Plateau, which can be used for population genetic studies on the state of connectivity and gene exchange. The project is led by Dr Christian Willisch (Bern University of Applied Sciences for Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences). The FIWI is responsible for the veterinary aspects of the project.

Contact FIWI: Iris Marti