- 野生生物保護 : Wildlife conservation Japan (ISSN:13418777)
- vol.9, no.1, pp.47-61, 2004-12-27
The food habits of the Kerama deer (Cervus nippon keramae) were investigated on the basis of feeding mark observations in the field, as well as fecal analysis. The feeding mark investigation found 118 plant species were eaten by the Kerama deer: 7 ferns, 23 woody plants, 35 forbs, 42 graminoids (Gramineae, Cyperaceae), and 11 non-graminoid monocots. With graminoids, many feeding marks were found on young leaves and reproductive organs. In the fecal analysis, the proportions of five plant categories (ferns, woody plants, forbs and non-graminoid monocots) dominated throughout the year at forest site, but the proportion of graminoids varied according to season at the marsh site. At marsh sites, the proportion of graminoids began to increase in March and was highest in August. These results suggest that the Kerama deer selectively eat high quality parts of graminoids. On this point, food habits of Kerama deer are quite different from those of Sika deer populations in northern Japan, where the proportion of graminoids increases in winter due to the lack of food. The study concluded that the food habits of the Kerama deer were the concentrate selector (CS) type.