The results of the deer population survey conducted on July 16, 2021 in Nara Park are as follows.
Results of the deer population survey in fiscal year 2021 (as of July 16, 2021)
Number of deer Nara Park Total 1,105 (Male deer 217 Female deer 806 Fawns 82)
The mother and fawns we have been protecting at the Deer Park are scheduled to make their debut in Nara Park around the end of July. The popular Nara Park (Nara City, Nara Prefecture) is famous for its many deer. However, not many people know how many deer there are in total and how they are counted.Every year, on July 15 and 16, the "Aigo-kai,"(Fundation of for the Protection of Deer in Nara) a group of volunteers, walk around Nara Park and count the number of visitors. Since the "Aigo-kai" is not enough, a total of about 40 people, including volunteers, students from Nara University, priests from Kasuga Taisha Shrine, and souvenir shops in Nara Park, work together to count them.Taking advantage of the deer's habit of coming down from Mt. Wakakusa, located on the east side of Nara Park, in search of food every morning, the survey started as early as 5:00 am. The team is divided into groups of four, each led by a deer counting veteran, and arrives at the starting point of each route. We then set off simultaneously from the west side of Nara Park to the east side of the park to greet the deer coming down from the mountains. As we walked along, we counted the deer steadily with our own eyes. They counted the deer not only by simple numbers but also by classifying them into "male deer," "female deer," and "baby deer.
One possible reason for the large number of females in the Nara Park is the difference in life span. Females live about 20 years, while males live about 15 years, which is a bit shorter. It is the same as humans. Another reason for the large number of males is that during the autumn breeding season, the males, who have their own territories, are so desperate to enclose the females that they often run out into the road and die or are protected by the deer park in the vicinity of Nara Park All deer in Nara Park are wild Japanese deer. We do not help them in any way with their breeding activities. Although the deer eat rice crackers (mainly made of rice bran and flour) given to them by tourists as a snack, their staple food is grass and nuts. The beautiful lawns in Nara Park are not maintained by the deer, but rather by the deer eating the grass and using the feces as fertilizer. Nature is wonderful, isn't it?