Monte Arcosu and its love stories.

This September at the WWF Oasis of Mount Arcosu, nights are agitated!  In the intricate forest of  holm oak, cork oaks, heather and strawberry tree, the “Cervus elaphus corsicanus“, wanders around in search of his beloved.

We are talking about the Sardinian deer, a subspecies of the European Deer, from which it differs for its smaller size, the structure of the antlers and the color of the mantle. This species is one of those “particularly protected” at national and regional level (article 2 L. 157/92 – art 5 Law 23/98). This deer is also mentioned among the species identified in Annex II of the European Directive “Habitat” 92/43 / EEC as a “priority species.

The “Period of the Bramito” (mating period) is between August and October  and it takes its name from the verse that this species emits to attract females in their “harem”.

E very year, the Metropolitan City of Cagliari organizes , at the SIC Monte Arcosu, an event aimed at the census of the deer with the method of the roar (bramito). This activity involves the Autority of Environmental Supervision, the Park of Gutturi Mannu, the WWF Oasis, the Ente Foreste and the Agrofauna company as well as numerous volunteers with good hearing. In fact, despite their size, deer know how to camouflage themselves in the middle of the vegetation, and it seems that this technique is the only one suitable to establish with good approximation the number of specimens present in the territory.

Until 1800 this species, whose origin dates back to the Bronze Age, was abundantly widespread both in Corsica and in Sardinia. Subsequently the deforestation, the fragmentation of the territory, the fires, the hunting and the exploitation of the territory for agriculture and breeding determined at the beginning of the fifties a drastic decrease of specimens. The deer presence was circumscribed to the areas of the Arburese, of Sulcis and Sarrabus. In 1939, in Sardinia was introduced the total ban on deer hunting, but despite this, the extinction for this species was almost already completed. In the seventies there were about only 250/300 specimens spread mainly in the mountains of Sulcis and Sarrabus. Thus the Government began a series of interventions in the territory of the Sulcis and in the Sarrabus, for the reintroduction of this species, as well as in Corsica where the deer  was completely extincted.

The census conducted in Sardinia in 2013 allowed an estimate of a minimum of 1.53 deer / km2 in the Montarbu area (Seui) to a maximum of 17.20 deer / km2 in the Monti Nieddu area in the Sulcis area. The estimated consistency in the entire area surveyed is equal to 3060 heads.

Goal achieved! so…

… and then at sunset we will meet and we will be, for one evening, those strangers ready to recognize the call of true lovers: “Love is that thing that you are on one side, he on the other and strangers realize that you love” – ​​(ValeSantaSubito, Twitter)

Martina Murgianu

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