Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Interspecific aggressions between crested porcupines and roe deer.

Abstract

Despite being common amongst carnivore mammals, behavioral interference between wild herbivore species is poorly documented. Particularly, in temperate areas, where the ungulate guild is composed of a few species, and large-sized rodents are scarce, most cases of interspecific interactions involve at least one alien species. In this work, we report the first data on behavioral interactions between roe deer, Capreolus capreolus, and crested porcupine, Hystrix cristata. Aggressions by crested porcupines toward roe deer were observed in 34 out of 202 observations of both species feeding at the same site. In the other 168 observations, roe deer and porcupines shared the same feeding area, without any interaction. In 58% cases of interaction, porcupines chased and pushed roe deer away from feeding areas, and in several other cases, roe deer were bitten, or injured with quills. Aggressions by porcupines occurred mostly during warm months, when roe deer are mostly solitary and when competition for food between these species is suggested to be the highest, and against single female individuals.