Deer in Northern Ireland forests: Distribution, impact and management.

  • R.J. McCurdy Wildlife Officer, Forest Service (NI).
Keywords: Northern Ireland, red deer, sika deer, fallow deer, lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta, tree damage, deer management, forest recreation, amenities, wildlife, forest protection.


Red, Fallow and Sika deer occur in Northern Ireland forests. Fallow, often associated with old estate deer parks are most widespread: Sika occur in large numbers in Tyrone and Fermanagh, while Red are a comparatively minor species slowly spreading in from Donegal. Economic damage in coniferous woodland has been relatively light arising mainly from the activities of male deer cleaning velvet and marking territories. Lodgepole pine is particularly susceptible to damage by Red and Sika deer. The essence of good deer management lies in the design of more open forests enabling the deer to be observed, assessed and culled as necessary. Deer have an important educational and recreational role within forestry.
How to Cite
McCurdy, R. (1989) “Deer in Northern Ireland forests: Distribution, impact and management.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 21July2024).