HjortAreal 2007-2011

"Natural and farmed habitat as a basis for production of red deer in Norway"

These pages have moved - no longer updated - they are now in Norwegian:


Project over the AREAL-program, NFR, 2007-2011. Receives funding also from DN.

Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biology, University of Oslo. Prof. Atle Mysterud (Project leader), Dr. Leif Egil Loe
The Norwegian Forest Owner Association (Norges Skogeierforbund; NSF). Vidar Holthe.
Deer committee Sør-Trøndelag (Hjorteviltregion 2 i Sør-Trøndelag; Hjort S-T). Ivar Syrstad
Deer committee Sunnfjord and ytre Sogn (Sunnfjord og ytre Sogn hjorteutval; Hjort SyS). Hallvard Flatjord
The Norwegian Farmer’s Union (Norges Bondelag; NB). Ola Håvard Hoen
Department of Economics (DoE), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU. Prof. Anders Skonhoft and Dr. Jon Olaf Olaussen
Museum of Natural History and Archaeology (MoNH), Section of Natural History, NTNU. Dr. Gunnar Austrheim
Telemark University College (HiT). Chief engineer Arne Hjeltnes
Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Envionmental Research (Bioforsk). Researcher Erling L. Meisingset
Hedmark University College (HH). Ph.D. student Barbara Zimmermann
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). Senior researcher Rolf Langvatn and Dr. Vebjørn Veiberg.
Eventus AS. Arve Aarhus
University of Lyon, Divison of Biometry and Evolutionary Biology, France (ULyon). Dr CNRS Jean-Michel Gaillard, Ph.D. student Bram van Moorter
University of Glasgow, Division of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, UK (UGlasgow). Dr Dan T. Haydon


The project will provide a basis to predict the potential for production of red deer based on detailed knowledge of the natural and farmed habitat as well as detailed studies of red deer habitat use in multiple areas. The yield of red deer reached 27600 in 2005. Red deer thus constitute the 2nd most important game species (in meat value), and the one with the fastest increase in yield. The potential income from red deer hunting is therefore increasing, particularly along the west coast. Here, landowners have their main income (on the farm) from livestock and to some extent forestry. Due to recent decreased income from livestock, it has been suggested to develop hunting of red deer as an important addition to more traditional land use. We know that red deer damage agricultural pastures, but not how much red deer use farmed habitat relative to different types of natural habitat and how this affects production parameters of the deer (total number of deer, body weights and calving rates). Due to migration, management often comes short in preventing substantial biases between the red deer related costs and benefits experienced among landowners. Similar problems of cost-benefit distribution have been explored in detail for moose. We aim to use these results to parameterize a bioeconomical model to also be valid for the challenges faced by the red deer management, thereby providing the potential for changing farming practises and going for red deer hunting as a livelihood. Funding from the user side to mark red deer with GPS collars along the west coast is already granted. Deer production data is available from NINA. We currently lack relevant habitat maps to be linked to the red deer GPS- and production data. The expertise of making such maps exists at HiT, the practical skills of marking deer is held by the user side, while the skills of analysing the red deer data exist at UiO together with their international collaborators. The economic part will be done in collaboration with economists at the NTNU. This part will include optimality modelling as well as a questionnaire to investigate how important red deer is to the economy of landowners today, to identify niches in the market. We believe that this project will provide essential knowledge on the potential for production of red deer in traditional farmland areas – in particular along the west coast were other good alternatives are scarce.

Theme 1: Marking of deer with GPS

The project will analyse data from a number of areas of Norway. Follow progress on marking:

Vegetasjonskartlegging er en viktig del av prosjektet

Theme 2: Grazing studies
Ragnar Aaserud i Hyen
We (that is my field assistant Ragnar Aaserud) perform estimation of grazing pressure at a very coarse scale - and in a rather extreme habitat. This was done in April-May 2006 in Gloppen and in April-May 2007 in Flora, Sogn og Fjordane. This work will provide basis for the Master-thesis of Harald Askilsrud regarding spatial variation in red deer grazing pressure.

[7. Feb. 2008] Project meeting in Oslo for update on progress.

[21. November 2007] Winners!

Spørreundersøkelsen i Sogn og Fjordane gikk meget bra - vi er godt fornøyd med responsen. Som lovet, har vi som takk gitt kr. 1000,- til de 5 utvalgte vinnerne.
And the winners are...

  1. Kjartan S. Wiik, Hausle, 6730 Davik
  2. Arnstein Birkeland, Birkeland, 6973 Sande
  3. Nils Huus, Hus, 6843 Skei i Jølster
  4. Sigmund Jonstad, Solvangåsen 3, 6800 Førde
  5. Jane Noven, Yndestad, 6966 Guddal

[30. May 2007] Kronikk om AREAL-prosjektet om hjort

En presentasjon av det nye, store AREAL-prosjektet.
[April 2007] Undersøkelse blant grunneiere i Sogn og Fjordane om jakt og hjort.
Se oppslag på Norges Skogeierforbund og Norges Bondelag sine hjemmesider.

[13. Feb. 2007] Start up meeting in Oslo
Pop. artikler:

Mysterud, A. & Holthe, V. 2007. Hjortens nytteverdi. Kronikk. Nationen 30. mai, s. 25.

Mysterud, A. & Solberg, E.J. 2007. GPS – viktig forskningsverktøy. Jakt og Fiske 136 (6): 92.