Students study vulnerable baby deer in Dublin

These vulnerable baby deer are being studied

by ecology students in Dublin

Location: Dublin, Ireland

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WILDLIFE ECOLOGY PHD STUDENT AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN, LAURA GRIFFIN, SAYING: "So every year during June time, when the fawns are being born from the fallow deer herd out here, we come out and we are part of the management team that tags them. We get some important science-related data, such as their weights, the different dimensions - just everything to keep track of the welfare of the herd; different DNA samples and things like that."

The students observe the fawns born in the Phoenix Park

so they can assess and tag the animals

while they are kept hidden from the main herd

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WILDLIFE ECOLOGY PHD STUDENT AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN, LAURA GRIFFIN, SAYING:

"Fawns are left on their own for the first two weeks of their lives. That's one of the defensive behaviors that they have as a prey species. They're not strong enough to keep up with the herd when it runs, so what their mother will do is keep them hidden in long grass or nettles, wooded areas, anywhere where they can be safe or secure. She'll go back every couple of hours to feed them, but for that short period, their instinct is to lay really still and to avoid predators. So if a predator were to see them, they're too small to have a chance to outrun it, so they lie really still."

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