Animal Travels: Holland

With 2119 square miles of space and a population of almost 6 and a half million, Holland has its own ‘Big Five’. The Red Deer, Wild Boar, Roe Deer, Badger and the Red Fox.

RED DEER
(Cervus elaphus)
Unknown.jpegThe Red Deer is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List and they have an increasing population trend.

HABITAT AND DIET
Red Deer can found in a range of habitats including: open deciduous woodland, mixed forests and coniferous woodland, upland moors and mountainous areas; but they prefer broadleaved woodland that is interspersed by large meadows. Red Deer feed mainly of shrub and tree shoots but they will sometimes dine on grasses, fruits and seeds.

MAJOR THREATS
Red Deer are facing trouble from habitat loss and overhunting. They are also susceptible to the spread of parasites and diseases from introduced species.

WILD BOAR
(Sus scrofa)
Wild-Boar-1_public-640x425.jpgThese mammals are classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List however, their current population trend is unknown.

HABITAT, DIET AND BEHAVIOUR
Again, Wild Boars can be found in a wide variety of habitats, whether that is temperate and tropical habitats such as semi-desert regions and tropical rainforests. They can also inhabit temperate woodlands and grasslands. Wild Boars are omnivorous, although vegetable matter makes up around 90% of their diet. These Boars are most active in early mornings and late afternoon and they spend around 4-8 per day foraging.

MAJOR THREATS
Globally, there are no major threats to Wild Boars; but locally, they can be susceptible to habitat destruction and hunting pressures.

ROE DEER
(Capreolus capreolus)
Roe-deer-buck-moulting-into-summer-coat%2c-Pigneys-Wood%2c-Julian-Thomas%2c-11-May-2015-(small).jpgAgain, the Roe Deer is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List with an increasing population trend. There are around 15 million mature individuals remaining in the wild.

HABITAT
These deer prefer landscapes with a mosaic of woodland and farmland.

MAJOR THREATS
There is an increased mixing of various genetic pools which could leave the Roe Deer susceptible to diseases and parasites. They also face danger from poaching, free-roaming dogs and collisions with vehicles.

CONSERVATION
There have been re-introductions of Roe Deer into depleted populations.

EURASIAN BADGER
(Meles meles)
140506.jpgThe Eurasian Badger is another species that is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. These Badgers currently have a stable population trend.

HABITAT AND DIET
Badgers prefer either deciduous woods with clearings, or open pastureland with patches of woodland. They are opportunistic foragers with an omnivorous diet, feeding on fruits, nuts, cereal crops, invertebrates and some vertebrates such as hedgehogs, moles and rabbits.

MAJOR THREATS
Land use changes have caused a loss of suitable habitat for the badgers. Badgers are also persecuted as a pest and in places like the UK they are believed to be associated with bovine TB and so this lead to a cull. Also, rabies reduced numbers of badgers throughout Europe.

RED FOX
(Vulpes vulpes)
150px-Red_fox.jpgThe final of Holland’s ‘Big Five’ is also classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List with a stable population trend.

HABITAT
The Red Fox can survive in extremely diverse habitats such as the tundra, deserts and forests as well as in city centres. Their natural habitat is a dry, mixed landscape with scrub and woodland. Foxes now appear to be closely associated with people and so can be found wherever there is human life.

MAJOR THREATS
Threats to Red Foxes are highly localised and include habitat degradation, loss and fragmentation. Globally, Red Foxes don’t face any major threats. The Red Fox is classed as a pest and so is unprotected throughout all its range. In the future, this could potentially cause problems.

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Animals You May Not Have Heard About: Maned Wolf

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ab833056118095e446bad796b2627050--maned-wolf-rainforests.jpgThe Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the largest canid of South America which slightly resembles a red fox. Despite its appearance and its name, the Maned Wolf is neither wolf nor fox and is also not closely related to any other canids. The Maned Wolf is in fact the only species in the genus Chrysocyon; which means ‘golden dog’. Maned Wolves are the tallest of all living canids, with reddish brown fur and long black legs with a black mane.

Maned WolfThe Maned Wolf can be found in the lowland grassland and scrubland of Central and South America, with around 17000 mature individuals in the wild. The IUCN Red List now classifies the Maned Wolf as Near Threatened and the species is at risk from four major threats.

  1. maned-wolfHabitat loss
  2. Human persecution
  3. Road traffic accidents
  4. Pathogens from domestic animals

There are several conservation projects aimed at saving the Maned Wolf from a further demise. Click here to read more about these projects.

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