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Roe deer

Capreolus capreolus

The roe deer is a relatively small deer, with a body length of up to 135 centimetres and a shoulder height of up to 85 centimetres. It has a golden red hide in the summer, turning grey in the winter with a yellowish-white rump. Males have rather short, erect antlers with two or three points. The deer's tracks are heart-shaped, pointed and up to 4.5 centimetres in length. When alarmed, or during the breeding season, both males and females give a short bark, much like a dog.

Roe deer are common in Belarus and throughout Europe, living mostly in sparse forests. They can be seen foraging on forest edges in areas free from poaching.

These deer venture into open areas mostly early in the morning or late at night. During the summer months, roe deer remain solitary or live in small groups, forming family groups in the autumn and larger groups in the winter. They are sedentary for most of the year, foraging in a small area. The males shed their antlers by December and begin to grow new antlers early in the summer. Roe deer feed mainly on grass, berries and acorns, as well as twigs and buds during the winter. The breeding season starts in early August, and females bear one to three fawns in late spring. For the first week after birth the fawns lie motionless on the ground, hidden in tall grass, before beginning to trail their mother.

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