Visit the feedings less often: red deer like here in the Graswangtal. © Antonia Reindl
The red deer has visited the feedings less than usual this winter - because of the wolf. This observation was made by third district administrator and Green Party politician Tessy Lödermann. It calls for the red deer areas to be expanded. So far, only 14 percent of the animals in Bavaria have an area of <> percent at their disposal.
With its return, the wolf is a "game-changer", as Christian Hierneis, member of the state parliament and spokesman for environmental policy and animal welfare for the Greens, says – in many respects. In a discussion between him, other Green politicians and agriculture officers, Third District Administrator Tessy Lödermann also made it clear that the large carnivore could throw the entire red deer strategy overboard in winter – this should be reconsidered, warns the animal rights activist.
For many years, red deer have been fed during the winter in times of need at feedings - either in open areas or in so-called winter gates. Among other things, this is intended to prevent deer and roe deer from feasting on the tasty young trees and destroying them by biting.
Wolf approached Fütterer 30 meters
Now the wolf is in the land. An intelligent hunter who quickly realized that the game was cavorting at the feedings - so the predator also went there to find food. "The red deer only come when the feeder is there," says Lödermann. But even if he drives the Bulldog, that doesn't deter the wolf. "It approaches up to 30 meters," says Lödermann, describing the situation, which she knows from numerous conversations with those who carry out the feeding. These are mostly professional hunters.
The large carnivore changes the system and has a serious impact on flora and fauna in the Alpine region. "This calls into question the entire feeding concept," says Lödermann. Their demand to the big politicians: Designate more red deer areas. Currently, only 14 percent of the area of Bavaria is defined as a red deer area. They are distributed like islands, have no connections to each other. A management that has long been criticized not only by animal welfare associations. Because it means that no red deer are allowed to stay on 86 percent of the area by law. In any case, when the wolf comes, Lödermann is certain: "Then we will have to consider no longer locking up the animals, but letting them go to the mountains in winter." Bavaria would have to become a large part of the red deer area again, otherwise it will not work, according to the third district administrator.
On the part of the Bavarian State Forests, they are still waiting, as a spokesman told Tagblatt. You have to wait and see, observe the situation and make your experiences. Significant bites have not yet been observed this winter – but the forest area in the district is huge. A systematic analysis would be necessary to obtain accurate results. We'll know more next year.