Deer (Cervus; Ukrainian: olen). Genus of cloven-hoofed mammals, which are hunted for sport and commercial purposes (deer meat, hide, and antlers). In Ukraine the red deer (Cervus elaphus) is the prevalent species; its body length is approximately 220–250 cm; tail length, up to 16 cm; height (hooves to withers), 86–165 cm; weight, up to 500 kg. At one time red deer were to be encountered throughout Ukraine; today their habitat is restricted to the Carpathian Mountains and the Crimea, as well as to a number of breeding grounds. In 2007 its population in Ukraine was approximately 14,800. The small and nimble roe deer inhabits lightly forested areas in the Carpathians, the Crimean Mountains, and Polisia. In Ukraine deer hunting is regulated by license. In the Askaniia-Nova Biosphere Reserve and Black Sea Biosphere Reserve and in several areas of the forest-steppe two species of deer have become acclimatized: the sika deer (Cervus nippon), with a body length of 160–180 cm, height (hooves to withers) of 85–118 cm, and weight of up to 148 kg; and the fallow deer (Cervus dama dama), height of about 90 cm (hooves to withers).

[This article was updated in 2009.]

Encyclopedia of Ukraine