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Impacts of outdoor recreation on space-use, behaviour and interspecific interactions of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the Scottish Highlands
|dc.coverage.spatial||xvii, 167 p.||en_US|
|dc.description.abstract||In Scotland, the geographical distribution of red deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus) overlaps with areas used for popular outdoor activities such as hill walking. This overlap can have multiple consequences for the animal but also for its successful management. Here, I study the impact of hiking activity on red deer spatio-temporal distribution, behaviour, and interaction with sheep. First, to study the impact of hiker activity on deer detection and on their behaviour, camera traps were placed in transects at different distances (25, 75 and 150m) from the hiking path. Hiking activity was monitored and classified as busy or quiet. Second, to study how hiking activity influenced red deer interaction with sheep, camera traps were distributed at various distances from the hiking path. I found that red deer spatial and temporal response occurred at less than 150m, as more red deer were detected at 150m than at 25m. During the day, red deer were detected at greater rates in an isolated area relative to areas close to the hiking path. This avoidance only occurred on a short temporal scale, as deer returned to areas close to the hiking path the following night. I did not detect an increase in vigilance or flight behaviour closer to the hiking path or during busy hiking activity. However, the interaction between sheep and deer changed with distance from the hiking path, with greater spatial and temporal overlap in areas further away from the hiking path. I conclude that (i) hikers impact the spatial distribution of red deer at distances smaller than 150m but that this impact is only of short duration temporal scale, (ii) hiking activity does not have a significant impact on the behaviour of the animal, and (iii) hiking activity may influence the interaction between sheep and deer.||en_US|
|dc.description.sponsorship||"This project is funded through a joint James Hutton Institute University of St Andrews collaborative PhD Studentship. This work was funded by the Carnegie Trust and the British Deer Society." -- Funding||en|
|dc.publisher||University of St Andrews||en|
|dc.title||Impacts of outdoor recreation on space-use, behaviour and interspecific interactions of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the Scottish Highlands||en_US|
|dc.contributor.sponsor||Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland||en_US|
|dc.type.qualificationname||PhD Doctor of Philosophy||en_US|
|dc.publisher.institution||The University of St Andrews||en_US|
|dc.publisher.department||James Hutton Institute||en_US|
|dc.rights.embargodate||Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Restricted until 15th December 2026||en|
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