Are Roe and Fallow deers really barking when stressed?

If you listen carefully at dusk or dawn, you might hear the bark of deer echoing through the trees. That's right—deer, those animals that usually avoid human presence, indeed bark. But why do they do it, and how? Let's uncover the secret behind deer barking.

Deer Talk: Do Roe and Fallow Deer Really Bark When Stressed?
Loud noises can make deers more watchful, as they become alert to possible dangers

Roe and Fallow Deers: Why Are They Barking?

Now, you might ask, why would a deer start barking? After all, they're not dogs. Well, the fact is, deer have developed various sounds to communicate in dense forests where visibility is low and scent trails might not be enough.

Think of it like their version of Morse code—a brief yet efficient way of sharing important information without giving away their exact whereabouts to potential predators nearby.

Stress Signals: What's Up with Roe and Fallow Deer Barking?
Roe deer have small antlers with three points on each side. They shed them every year around November to December and grow them back during spring and summer

Just as humans use tone, pitch, and volume to imbue words with significance and feeling, roe deer adjust their barks to communicate various messages. A quick, high-pitched bark could signify danger, prompting nearby deer to either freeze or run away, while a softer, lower-toned bark might indicate a more calm state, perhaps a friendly greeting or a simple acknowledgment of presence.

The stressful life of deers

However, that bark you hear often echoing through the forest isn't just a curious quirk of nature—it's a sign of stress in roe deer. 

The barking in the roe deer is often its way of saying, "I'm stressed!" 

The Deer Diaries: Discovering Unknown Facts about Roe and Fallow Deer
Dawn and dusk are key times for roe deer since that's when they're most active

Stress isn't just an occasional annoyance for roe deer—it's a constant presence that influences nearly every aspect of their existence. Picture this: you're a roe deer, calmly feeding in the forest, when suddenly, the crack of a twig sends your pulse racing. It could be a lurking wolf or a prowling lynx, poised to strike at any instant.

Humans are a source of stress for deer

But predators aren't the only source of worry for roe deer. Humans, maybe unknowingly, have become a major cause of stress for them, disturbing their once calm life in the forest.

Saw engines, commonly used in logging, make a lot of noise that disrupts the natural balance of the woods. The loud and constant sound of saw engines can disrupt animal feeding, mating, and nesting behaviors.

Roe Deer and Fallow Deer: Interesting Animals of Our Forest
Roe deer are small, usually weighing between 55 to 77 pounds (25 to 35 kilograms) when they're fully grown

The unauthorized entry of vehicles or motorcycles into wooded areas poses another big danger to roe and fallow deer populations. The sudden intrusion of loud engine noises can scare deer, making them run away or stay alert, even when they should be resting.

This constant flow of human activity, whether it's the loud engines, or just people talking loudly, is a constant source of stress for animals.

So, next time you're in the woods, be respectful and listen closely to the sounds of nature around you, because every sound has a story, and every creature has a voice.


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