Hardly any other animal charms us with its graceful elegance like the gentle, shy deer. These characteristics give it a familiar role in many children’s stories and make it a symbol for the quiet and peaceful Christmas season.
Often called a pest by foresters and farmers (because crops and young trees are on the deer’s menu) it is hunted intensively and also ends up – often at Christmas – on our dinner plates. Although deer eat trees, it should not be forgotten that they contribute significantly to the germination of seeds of plants such as birch, pine and fir by scratching the ground and breaking up the forest floor. In ecosystems where large carnivores are still present, such as in the Hârtibaciu Valley, the deer is a main source of food for wolves and lynx. These predators keep the deer population in check, and where there is a healthy balance, deer help both to maintain forests and protect meadows from becoming overgrown.
But that’s not all: it has been found that areas with many deer also have more insects living in their dung, and therefore more amphibians such as salamanders. Bird species use the fur they shed in winter to build nests. Fallen deer antlers are particularly prized by rodents because of their high calcium and phosphorus content. Death also has its function: the carcasses of dead game serve as food for many animal species. Thus, these deer provide a basis for the ecosystem and boost overall biodiversity.
Look at how beautiful these animals are that give us so much!