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Individual study: Diversionary feeding can reduce red deer habitat selection pressure on vulnerable forest stands, but is not a panacea for red deer damage

Published source details

Arnold J.M., Gerhardt P., Steyaert S., Hackländer K. & Hochbichler E. (2018) Diversionary feeding can reduce red deer habitat selection pressure on vulnerable forest stands, but is not a panacea for red deer damage. Forest Ecology and Management, 407, 166–173


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Provide diversionary feeding to reduce crop damage by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2009–2011 in a mixed timber forest in Austria (Arnold et al. 2018) found that diversionary feeding of red deer Cervus elaphus resulted in fewer deer using forest stands vulnerable to deer damage. Forest stands vulnerable to deer browsing and bark-stripping (young and mid-aged stands) were used less by red deer in areas 1.3–1.5 km from winter feeding stations compared to areas further away (data reported as statistical model results). Supplementary food (mainly apple pomace and hay) was provided during winter (October–May) at seven feeding stations (1 station/19 km2) within a 131-km2 area of mixed forest managed for production of Norway spruce Picea abies and European larch Larix decidua. In 2009–2011, eleven red deer (seven males, four females) were radio-tracked to a total of 29,799 locations within the forest. Deer damage was not directly measured.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)