Defecation time, fecal amount, and water content of feces of sika deer, Cervus nippon, were studied for two deer kept in large-scale enclosures. The deer were observed eight times for 24 hours, and all the feces were collected immediately after defecation. The defecation interval varied considerably with a median of 21 min. The number of defecations per 24 hours ranged from 9 to 49. The number of fecal pellets per deer per 24 hours showed a seasonal variation with a mean of 1276. As a parameter for the fecal pellet count method, our result did not conflict seriously with the number, 1010/deer/day, obtained from captive deer (Takatsuki et al. 1981) on the average basis. On the other hand, its seasonal variation has to be considered when a deer population is censused with pellet count method. Water content of fecal pellet varied widely with apparent response to precipitation within three days before the defecation.
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Vol. 33 • No. 4