VITEBSK, 21 January (BelTA) – The red deer population in Vitebsk Oblast is projected to double in five years thanks to the program to introduce new animals, BelTA learned from Dmitry Dikovich, a specialist with the main wildlife management of the Vitebsk State Industrial Forestry Association.
There are 16 hunting farms at forestry enterprises of the Vitebsk State Industrial Forestry Association. They are home to more than 800 red deer. The total population of the red deer in Vitebsk Oblast is 5,000 animals. “The majority of them were brought from other parts of Belarus and some from abroad. In line with the state program Belarusian Forest, we purchase new deer and distribute them throughout the region. The largest red deer populations live in Verkhnedvinsk District, Tolochin District, Dokshitsy District, and Liozno District. The goal for the next five-year period is to introduce red deer in all districts of Vitebsk Oblast and ensure at least a twofold increase in their population,” Dmitry Dikovich said.
New red deer brought to Vitebsk Oblast live in spacious enclosures for a year. This measure helps the animals get used to the new territory and prevents them from straying into the territory of neighboring populations. Red deer can fend for themselves all year round. Workers of forestry enterprises feed new red deer only when the temperature drops below -25°C and the snow cover is too thick. However, the workers are careful not to let deer get used to being fed by humans. Food for red deer includes branches, bark, concentrated feeds as well as vegetables: carrots, potatoes, and beetroots.
Apart from red deer, the Vitebsk State Industrial Forestry Association also takes care of roe deer and moose. There are about 3,000 roe deer and more than 2,100 moose in the territory of the association. The overall moose population in Vitebsk Oblast is 12,000 animals. “Thanks to the Belarusian Forest program, in five years, we expect the red deer population to become as large as the moose population,” Dmitry Dikovich stressed.