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ŠUMARSKI LIST 3-4/2017 str. 38     <-- 38 -->        PDF

nearest supplemental feeding site (FEED_DIST, negative correlation), cost distance (COST_DIST, negative correlation), size of largest forest patch (F_PATCH, positive correlation), share of spruce dominated pole-stage (F_SPRUCE, positive correlation), density of forest edge (F_EDGE, negative correlation), proportion of forest (FOREST, positive correlation), and ambient temperature (TEMP, first ascending then descending). Two of the four models also involve slope (SLOPE, negative correlation) and share of mast-producing broadleaves (F_MAST, positive correlation; Table 3).
Our study demonstrates that red deer local population densities are under strong impact of present-day wildlife management measures (e.g. the impact of supplemental feeding) as well as forestry measures (e.g. proportion of stands of certain age-class and tree species composition). Both local densities and, to an even greater extent, presence or absence of red deer, are also impacted by historical circumstances: past red deer management (eradication and reintroduction) and past land use, which is reflected in present-day forest cover and fragmentation of forest.
Recognising the impact of historical factors helps us understand past dynamics of red deer populations and predict potential future spatial distribution of the species. Dispersal from reintroduction and immigration sites still impacts red deer spatial distribution in Slovenia despite having started 100 years ago. We can therefore assume that the locations of reintroduction sites have been the main factor determining the course of dispersal and repopulation of the country by red deer, following its reintroduction. This factor will remain important in the future, as spatial expansion of species has not yet been completed (Stergar et al. 2009). The importance of share of forest cover and its fragmentation (for habitat suitability) shows that past land use, in particular the abandonment of agriculture and spontaneous afforestation of agricultural land in the 20th century, significantly contributed to the red deer population dynamics (Adamič and Jerina 2011). The situation is very similar to the majority