Spanish Roe Deer Association: 20 Years of Corcino Project Impact

December 14, 2023
December 14, 2023 FACE

The Spanish Roe Deer Association, which aims to improve the management, hunting, and conservation of the smallest European deer species, launched a campaign in 2004 to warn the public about how to act when they encounter a roe deer fawn.

When Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) are born, they cannot walk with their mothers. During their first weeks, the fawns are unable to follow the does and hide in the vegetation by standing still to avoid predation. Not knowing roe deer’s habits, well-intentioned but uninformed people frequently encounter these small and apparently weak and abandoned fawns and take them to wildlife rehabilitation centers or to their homes to help them. However, the best way to help these little ungulates is on the contrary to avoid any type of interaction and leave them and the area as quiet as possible, as its mother is nearby taking care of her youngs.


Awareness raising campaigns such as this one to tackle bad habits when it comes to wildlife conservation are well in line with EU’s Biodiversity Strategy. This project, which started in 2004, is a good example of how hunters have long been key players in local wildlife conservation.

As the roe deer population and distribution in the Iberian Peninsula increase, the number of roe deer fawns taken away from their mothers is also rising. To tackle this issue, the Spanish Roe Deer Association is running an awareness campaign to educate people that newborn roe deer are not abandoned and that they should not be interfered with.

This campaign started in 2004 with the distribution of leaflets and outreach communication in villages, schools, and cafes in Spain. The first campaign years were a success, many volunteers joined, and in 2008, 12.176 leaflets were distributed. Today, a more digital approach is being used through social media and influencers to educate the highest number of people possible about what to do when finding a roe deer cub.


Corcino Project Recommendations

  1. A lone fawn is never abandoned. Even if we don’t see its mother, she is close by and watching over it.
  2. Do not pick it up. If you take it with you, it will die.
  3. Do not touch it or stay near it. It will be left with our scent and predators will be able to find it more easily.
  4. Keep your distance. Do not approach it and leave the area calmly. Approaching to take a photo can leave a clear trail to predators of its location.
  5. Stay on paths and public roads, and do not let your pets run loose.
  6. During mowing and agricultural work, take extreme precautions and avoid working at night. In this sense, it is advisable to place protection mechanisms on the machinery.


Proyecto Corcino

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