Reintroducing deer

The area historically occupied by deer probably extended across most parts of peninsular Italy and Sardinia. Starting from the 17th century, the transformations in the environment, the growth of the human population and the intensification of hunting activities,  caused the progressive disappearance of the species from increasingly vast sectors of the Italian territory. At the end of the 19th century,  there was only a small population of deer in the Bosco della Mesola (the Mesola forest) near the delta of the river Po, and another in Sardinia. This situation continued practically up to the end of World War II, (approximately mid-20th century) except for a few more or less sporadic presences due to the immigration of some individual deer coming from Switzerland. This phenomenon of the expansion of the populations of deer from Switzerland, from Austria and from Slovenia to the southern slopes of the Italian Alps, became more constant  and consistent starting from the 50s,  and was responsible for the re-colonization in the Italian Alps, in the central and eastern sectors.
However, the situation was different  in the case of deer in the western Alps and in the northern and central Apennines; here the presence of deer is due to repeated operations to reintroduce the deer, which were started at the end of the 60s.
In Sardinia, instead, the deer disappeared  from the central and northern regions in the 40s and only after the mid-80s did they become a topic of active management, which led to an increase in the populations and the area where they spread. At present the consistence of the species on the entire Italian territory can be estimated to be approximately  32,000 specimens.

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