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We review the extent of exotic deer distributions in Chile, which are encountered in all provinces, including Tierra del Fuego, except for possibly Region III; many deer are contained in at least 107 enclosures. Red deer (Cervus elaphus) by far has the largest feral population of exotic cervids in southern South America, providing source animals that can easily cross the Andes between Chile and Argentina. Red deer was introduced from Europe to the central valley of Chile in 1928. Since the 1940s, feral populations have also expanded from Argentina into Chile, by way of easily accessible, low elevation mountain passes of the Andes, accompanied by further direct shipments from Argentina. The area occupied by 1990 was estimated at 3400 km2, whereas an analysis in 2003 estimated an area of 7700 km2. The overall area invaded by 2003 was between 37�420S and 54�550S, and 73�360W and 69�500W (Argentina and Chile combined, although noncontiguous). Ecological impact of the red deer in Chile has been described since 1981, and red deer features in the Chilean Pest Manual.A conservative rate for the red deer expansion was estimated at 1 km/year, but likely is more rapid where habitat modifications facilitate movement. The pre-Columbian northern limit of the native cervid huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus) was 30�S, and because red deer has occupied all habitat types currently used by huemul, it could thus spread >750 km further north.Tothe south, all areas are suitable for red deer. Invasion patterns will depend on additional intentional introductions and enclosures on both sides of the Andes because of the omnipresent risk of escapes. Fallow, axis and roe deer (Damadama, Axis axis, Capreolus capreolus, respectively) also have been introduced to Chile and occur in many enclosures. Fallow deer recently escaped on Chiloé Island, became established and raised concerns because of its potential impacts on several endemic species on the island. The striking lack of information on feral deer may relate to policies and laws about firearms and restricted access to hunting areas, resulting in the apparent absence of popular hunting, which, nevertheless, could be a potential tool should the invasion continue and lead to future deer overabundance.
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A review of introduced cervids in Chile
Werner T. Flueck
A,B,C,D,E
and Jo Anne M. Smith-Flueck
D
A
National Council of Scientic and Technological Research (CONICET), Rivadavia 1917,
1033 Buenos Aires, Argentina.
B
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Socinstrasse 57, 4051 Basel,
Switzerland.
C
Fundación Bariloche, C.C. 592, 8400 Bariloche, Argentina.
D
Institute of Natural Resources Analysis (IARN) Patagonia, Universidad Atlántida Argentina,
C.C. 592, 8400 Bariloche, Argentina.
E
Corresponding author. Email: wtf@deerlab.org
Abstract. We review the extent of exotic deer distributions in Chile, which are encountered in all provinces, including
Tierra del Fuego, except for possibly Region III; many deer are contained in at least 107 enclosures. Red deer (Cervus
elaphus) by far has the largest feral population of exotic cervids in southern South America, providing source animals that can
easily cross the Andes between Chile and Argentina. Red deer was introduced from Europe to the central valley ofChile in
1928. Since the 1940s, feral populations have also expanded from Argentina into Chile, by way of easily accessible, low-
elevation mountain passes of the Andes, accompanied by further direct shipments from Argentina. The area occupied by
1990 was estimated at 3400 km
2
, whereas an analysis in 2003 estimated an area of 7700 km
2
. The overall area invaded by
2003 was between 37420S and 54550S, and 73360W and 69500W (Argentina and Chile combined, although non-
contiguous). Ecological impact of the red deer in Chile has been described since 1981, and red deer features in the Chilean
Pest Manual. A conservative rate for the red deer expansion was estimated at 1 km/year, but likely is more rapid where habitat
modications facilitate movement. The pre-Columbian northern limit of the native cervid huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus)
was 30S, and because red deer has occupied all habitat types currently used by huemul, it could thus spread >750 km further
north. To the south, all areas are suitable for red deer.Invasion patterns will depend on additional intentional introductions and
enclosures on both sides of the Andes because of the omnipresent risk of escapes. Fallow, axis and roe deer (Dama dama,Axis
axis,Capreolus capreolus, respectively) also have been introduced to Chile and occur in many enclosures. Fallow deer
recently escaped on Chiloé Island, became established and raised concerns because of its potential impacts on several
endemic species on the island. The striking lack of information on feral deer may relate to policies and laws about rearms and
restricted access to hunting areas, resulting in the apparent absence of popular hunting, which, nevertheless, could be a
potential tool should the invasion continue and lead to future deer overabundance.
Additional keywords: exotic deer, distribution, Cervus elaphus,Dama dama,Axis axis,Capreolus capreolus.
Received 12 December 2011, accepted 16 February 2012, published online 12 June 2012
Introduction
Phonecians and Romans likely perceived only positive outcomes
when translocating fallow deer (Dama dama) and, for the
same reasons, Acclimatisation Societies everywhere were
going strong until the early 20th century. Releasing ungulates
allowed alternative production systems, including hunting,
and thus presented economic benets. However, releases were
also carried out without economic motives, sometimes to
add to depauperate local fauna and improve sport-hunting
opportunities. Such motives resulted in releases of several
ungulate species in southern South America, which intensied
in the early 1900s (Flueck and Smith-Flueck 1993). Interest
in impacts from releases of cervids began 78 decades ago in
New Zealand, with government-supported control efforts since
1923 (Caughley 1983). Thereafter, as the economic liability
became apparent, global research efforts and publications on
invasive species increased exponentially (Kolar and Lodge
2001). According to IUCN (www.issg.org, veried April
2012), invasive alien species include animals introduced by
man into places that are out of their natural range of
distribution, and where they become established and disperse,
generating a negative impact on the local ecosystem and
species. Currently, awareness concerning the impacts of
invasive species has increased, and exotic species have been
recognised as a leading global threat to native biodiversity and
ecosystem function (Pimentel et al.2000; Sala et al.2000; Olson
2006). Exotic deer may have undesirable impacts even at a low
density, and overt problems are certain when they become
overabundant. By denition, overabundance arises wherever
deer have unwanted impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem
CSIRO PUBLISHING
Animal Production Science
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services, where their numbers exceed thresholds desired by
hunters or land managers, and where they cause direct conict
with humans, most particularly via vehicle collisions. For a recent
workshop on overabundant deer, held during the 7th International
Deer Biology Congress in Chile (Nugent et al.2011), we
reviewed information on exotic deer present in Chile.
Results and discussion
We reviewed all sources of information available to us, to
provide an update on exotic cervids in Chile. Exotic cervids
are encountered in all provinces, including Tierra del Fuego,
except for possibly Region III (Fig. 1); from limited information,
many of the deer in these provinces live in captive herds, which
total at least 107 (Tala et al.2004; Registro Nacional de
Tenedores de Fauna Silvestre, www.sag.cl, veried November
2011).
Red deer (Cervus elaphus) was introduced to central
Argentina in 1906 and then taken to the Andean foothills in
Argentina in the early 1920s (Flueck and Smith-Flueck 1993). In
1928, a shipment of red deer from Europe arrived to the central
valley of Chile (Wollenhaupt 1983). Since the 1940s, red deer has
also expanded from Argentina into Chile, by way of easily
accessible, low-elevation mountain passes of the Andean
range, accompanied by further direct shipments from
Argentina. The area occupied by 1990 in Chile was estimated
at 3400 km
2
, whereas an analysis in 2003 estimated the area of red
deer occupation to be 7700 km
2
(Flueck et al.2003). Across the
area occupied by 2003, average density was estimated to be
Fig. 1. Geographical location of Chile. The internal division into regions (left), bulk of red deer distribution and habitats
(without showing populations on Staten Island, or recent enclosures in Region XI and in Tierra del Fuego) (centre) and the
Southern Cone (right).
BAnimal Production Science W. T. Flueck and J. M. Smith-Flueck
about two deer/km
2
, which appears to be a conservative estimate
considering that favourable ecotonal habitats have revealed
densities of ~100 deer/km
2
, whereas in drier grasslands, the
numbers reached 4050 deer/km
2
(Flueck et al.2003). The
overall area invaded by 2003 was located between 37420S
and 54550S, and 73360W and 69500W (Fig. 1, Argentina
and Chile combined, although a non-contiguous distribution).
On the basis of linear rates of expansion reported for Chile
(Wollenhaupt 1983), a conservative rate of 1 km/year for the
northsouth and eastwest dispersals can be assumed in Chile,
but is likely to be often more rapid, particularly due to the
substantial presence of livestock and settlers, which have
opened up forests through cattle use and intentional res, thus
allowing red deer to advance more efciently. The pre-
Columbian northern limit of the native cervid, huemul
(Hippocamelus bisulcus), was 30S, and because the red deer
has invaded all other known habitat types used by huemul, the
potential northern limit for red deer could be >750 km further
north of the present distribution. To the south, all areas are suitable
for red deer. Overall, invasion patterns in Chile will depend
on additional local introductions on both sides of the Andes
and human population density. Already, there are several major
focal populations from which the invasion is progressing
simultaneously in various directions. Intentional introductions
still occur, but of more concern are new approved deer enclosures
and the omnipresent risk of escapes. Captive enclosures represent
high risk due to escapees, which would provide source animals
for new feral populations. Whereas escapees on the continent
would mainly modify the overall spacio-temporal pattern of the
ongoing invasion, the impact on islands without prior presence of
exotic deer, such as Fireland or Chiloe, could be more important
due to native endemism. Enclosures in Argentina present the
same risk for Chile, because deer can easily cross the Andes. Red
deer by far has the largest feral population of exotic cervids in
southern South America, and in Chile it has been registered from
the area of Bullileo (Parral, Region VII) ~35S, and then in all
regions southward including Tierra del Fuego (Jaksic et al.2002;
Iriarte 2008; Urrutia and Ojeda 2008).
Fallow deer rst came to Chile in 1887 and were released to
several sites (Lever 1985), currently occurring in Regions IX, X,
XI,andmore recently they have appeared by the coast in Region V
where their numbers are 6800. Recently, fallow deer were also
taken to an enclosure on Chiloé Island, from where they escaped
and have subsequently established themselves in the surrounding
area. Total numbers in Chile were estimated at more than 8000
deer (Iriarte 2008). Axis deer (Axis axis) are found in semi-captive
enclosures in Regions VII and XI where hunting opportunities are
provided (Iriarte 2008); we are not aware of any feral populations.
Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) were brought to a semi-captive
hunting ranch in 1990 in the Region X (Jaksic et al.2002; Iriarte
2008) and also appear to be conned. There were 28 game hunting
ranches in 2004 based on red, fallow and roe deer (Tala et al.
2004).
Fallow deer escaping and establishing feral populations
recently on Chiloé Island might be of more immediate
concern, considering that this island has several endemic
species, including medium-sized mammals. Otherwise, fallow,
axis and roe deer have apparently not been reported as problems,
in part, because most may be under conned conditions.
Red deer placed recently in enclosures on Tierra del Fuego
for farming and also for hunting reserves further presents an
environmental risk in the case of escapees from the current
enclosures, given that fencing consists of ve strings added to
existing seven-strand cattle fences to reach 2.4 m in height
(Navarro et al.2009). The invasion of this island would be
especially fast because no large predators exist. Due to the
lack of physical barriers between Chile and Argentina, Jaksic
et al.(2002) suggested that the two countries should coordinate
such policy moves so as to prevent the entry of unwelcomed
invaders. We are not aware of any previous attempts in Chile
to eradicate island populations of feral deer, and the only
attempt in Argentina to rid an island (Isla Victoria, 3100 ha)
was unsuccessful.
The list of worrisome invasive species provided by Jaksic
et al.(2002) now also includes Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus
jemlahicus), which was introduced to Argentina in 2000 and to
Andean foothills a few years later (Flueck 2010).
Among the exotic cervids in Chile, the feral state of the red
deer is much more advanced than for other species, both
geographically and numerically. Although substantial local
information regarding red deer is likely to exist, there is a
striking absence of well founded published information in
Chile. Even presence/absence data are very rudimentary,
especially for more remote areas, and we are not aware of any
population- or individual-based studies on free-ranging red deer,
although ecological impacts from these deer in Chile have been
described since 1981, and red deer features in the Chilean Pest
Manual (Urrutia and Ojeda 2008). The lack of information
about feral deer population may also relate to strict policies
and laws about rearms and limited access to hunting areas.
One result is the apparent absence of a popular large game-
hunting industry which, if active, would generate various lines of
information, including presence/absence, age structure, diseases
and progress of the invasion. This is because popular hunting
would concentrate on public land or other available large tracts
of land. Instead, large game such as exotic deer and boar (Sus
scrofa) can be hunted only on privately owned land, or with the
permission of another private landowner, and hunting on public
land is non-existing (SAG 2004). Consequently, deer hunting in
Chile is currently aimed mainly at clients using game-hunting
ranches. When private land suffers from over-abundance of deer,
frequently, the owners will nd a way to correct the situation.
In contrast, overabundance problems on public land depend
on government intervention, and although a popular hunting
industry often is a primary tool to implement management, it
is practically absent in Chile. The continuation of the invasion by
exotic deer is likely to remain a future challenge for Chile.
Acknowledgements
We thank four anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions.
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... e., sociedades de aclimatación) y como alternativa productiva (Dolman y Wäber, 2008), factores que probablemente han contribuido signifi-cativamente al éxito de su establecimiento y dispersión. En Patagonia, a principios del siglo veinte se introdujeron 4 especies de cérvidos: el chital o ciervo de la India (Axis axis), el ciervo colorado o europeo (Cervus elaphus), el ciervo paleto o dama (Dama dama) y el reno canadiense o caribú (Rangifer tarandus) (Daciuk, 1978;Jaksic, 1998;Jaksic et al., 2002;Iriarte et al., 2005;Novillo y Ojeda, 2008;Flueck y Smith-Flueck, 2012b). De todos ellos, el ciervo colorado es la única especie que logró establecerse y dispersarse ampliamente tanto en Chile como en la Argentina , mientras que el resto no prosperó (chital) o posee una distribución limitada a ciertos sitios, como el ciervo dama en el sur de Neuquén (Chapman y Chapman, 1980) o el caribú en las islas Georgias del Sur (Leader-Williams et al., 1989). ...
... El ciervo colorado fue introducido con fines cinegéticos en la Argentina, en la provincia de La Pampa, desde Europa a principios del siglo veinte, y posteriormente fue llevado reiteradamente al suroeste de la provincia del Neuquén. De allí, se dispersó en toda la región, incluso cruzando a Chile a través de pasos accesibles en la cordillera de los Andes (Ortiz, 1992;Flueck y Smith-Flueck, 2012b). A mediados del siglo veinte el ciervo colorado fue introducido en Chubut, en los lagos Fontana y La Plata (Daciuk, 1978). ...
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El Estado chileno, en conjunto con la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO), desarrollaron durante los años 2007 y 2008 el proyecto de cooperación técnica (TCP) “Asistencia técnica para la recuperación y revitalización de los bosques templados de Chile, con énfasis en los Nothofagus caducifolios”, ejecutado por la Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF). El proyecto potenció el desarrollo de profesionales chilenos para enfrentar el problema sanitario de los bosques integralmente, desde el reconocimiento de los agentes y la sintomatología asociada a ellos, hasta la aplicación de técnicas de manejo forestal para la prevención y mitigación de los daños. Como resultado final, el proyecto desarrolló un Plan de Acción Nacional, con un nuevo paradigma de manejo sustentable del bosque, integrando el concepto de protección forestal en las políticas y estrategias de desarrollo sostenible. El presente trabajo, pretende constituir un puente entre las ciencias básicas y aplicadas, reuniendo de manera sencilla y concisa todos los antecedentes bibliográficos conocidos para 73 agentes de daño bióticos y abióticos, complementado con observaciones de daño en terreno no publicadas, realizadas a lo largo de los años por especialistas nacionales y extranjeros, sumado a una serie de imágenes que grafican el daño y la sintomatología de los procesos de degradación del bosque.
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