Fallow Deer

Dama dama

  1. Wildlife
  2. Mammals
  3. Fallow Deer


A large, elegant deer, males have broad, 'palmate' antlers. During the autumnal breeding season, known as the 'rut', males make a loud belly-belch to proclaim their territory and will fight over the females. Fallow Deer prefer deciduous or mixed woodland with large clearings. They are also common in many deer parks throughout the country.

How to identify

Fallow Deer are variable in colour: most are a pale gingery-brown with white spots on the back, a characteristic black and white tail and a white rump patch outlined in black. Some animals are darker brown without any spots, and others are very pale, almost white. Look out for a group of quite large deer with white spots in a sunny woodland glade.

Where to find it

Fairly widespread in England, Wales, Ireland and southern Scotland.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Introduced by the Normans in the 11th century, the Fallow Deer has now become widespread in Britain. Road deaths are common with this species, but Fallow Deer in excessive numbers can cause damage to our woodlands by eating young shoots and leaves from newly-coppiced or growing trees. The Wildlife Trusts are working hard to restore our native woodlands; why not join us and have a go at volunteering? You'll make new friends, learn new skills and help wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Fallow Deer
Latin name
Dama dama
Length: 1.7m Height: 90cm at the shoulder Weight: 46-56kg Average lifespan: 8-10 years
Conservation status