Advances in Deer Physiology and Reproduction

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 September 2024 | Viewed by 1127

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: animal behaviour; captive breeding; cervids; husbandry; physiology
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Guest Editor
Department of Animal Ethology and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Animal Sciences and Bioeconomy, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Akademicka 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
Interests: deer farming; wildlife management; human-animal conflict; wild animals as bioindicators; ethology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cervids are species of broad interest to the scientific community. In the wild, several species are understudied and threatened, while many others are overabundant and need to be managed through hunting activities. In captivity, deer farming has steadily increased in recent decades, and captive breeding for conservation or recreational purposes is also becoming more widespread. Moreover, the reproductive biology of these species is of particular interest in terms of basic biology due to its link with the costly antler cycle.

The present Special Issue, “Advances in Deer Physiology and Reproduction”, aims to compile new findings and methodological approaches to this topic. Studies addressing reproductive biology and ecology based on wild and captive settings are welcome. The contributions are expected to highlight links between the reproductive cycles and outputs and physiological mechanisms, genetics, hormonal regulation, nutritional effects, antler cycle, maternal investment, etc. Manuscripts based on less-studied and endangered species are especially encouraged.

We invite both research articles and reviews.

Dr. Francisco Ceacero
Dr. Katarzyna Tajchman
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • antler cycle
  • endocrinology
  • reproductive biology
  • reproductive ecology
  • sexual selection
  • sperm quality

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 1292 KiB  
Effects of Immunocastration and Amino Acid Supplementation on Yearling Fallow Deer (Dama dama) Testes Development
by Thoniso Chitambala, Veit Ny, Francisco Ceacero, Luděk Bartoň, Daniel Bureš, Radim Kotrba and Tersia Needham
Animals 2024, 14(1), 115; - 28 Dec 2023
Viewed by 838
Forty-four fallow deer bucks (10 months old; 22.9 ± 2.4 kg) were utilized to investigate the effects of immunocastration and amino acid supplementation on testes development. Immunocastrated bucks were administered Improvac® at weeks 1, 8, and 20 of this study (control group: [...] Read more.
Forty-four fallow deer bucks (10 months old; 22.9 ± 2.4 kg) were utilized to investigate the effects of immunocastration and amino acid supplementation on testes development. Immunocastrated bucks were administered Improvac® at weeks 1, 8, and 20 of this study (control group: intact males). Starting at week 8, half of each sex received rumen-protected lysine and methionine (3:1) supplementation. At slaughter (week 37/39), body size, internal fat deposits, antler size parameters, testes weight, testes surface color, cauda epididymal sperm viability and morphology, and seminiferous tubule circumference and epithelium thickness were determined. Animals with larger body sizes, greater forequarter development, and antler growth also had greater testes development. Whilst the result of immunocastration on testes size is unexpected, testes tissue showed impaired development (atrophied seminiferous tubules), decreased sperm viability, and normal morphology. Testes tissue from immunocastrated deer was less red, possibly indicating reduced blood supply. Conversely, amino acid supplementation increased testes’ redness and sperm viability, and intact males fed amino acids showed the greatest seminiferous tubule development. Thus, immunocastration may be a welfare-friendly alternative for venison production. Whilst the results support findings from the literature that testes size is not a reliable indicator of immunocastration success, this warrants further investigation in deer over different physiological development stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Deer Physiology and Reproduction)
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