The Red deer (Cervus elaphus) is the biggest wild mammal in France. Representing power and loyalty, it is the “king of the forest“.
It can be found mainly in large forests, in the Aubrac region or in the Aigoual forest. If it lived originally in the large clearings of primary forests, the development of agriculture, human demographic pressure, and hunting forced it away from its habitat. The king of the forest is nowadays confined to wooded spaces, and it comes back to meadows only when dusk falls.
Hunting pressure has contributed to the decline of the species in France: in some areas, and in particular in the Lozère region, the red deer had been nearly extirpated. But for over 50 years, the Cévennes National Park has initiated restocking programs.
The male (stag) is around 180 cm high (head height) and weighs around 150 kg; the female (hind) is around 150 cm high and weigh around 80 kg.
Between mid-September and mid-October, during the rutting season, the squall of the deer can be listened.
The red deer lives about 15 years.