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RED DEER (Cervus elaphus)


Study Site:Surroundings of Cordoba and Experimental scientific farm of Univercity of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) (Albacete, Spain).
Dates: Since 2010 onwards.
Volodin Ilya, Volodina Elena, Matrosova Vera, Sibiryakova Olga, Golosova Olga, Yurlova Daria.
Collaborators: Frey Roland (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), (Berlin, Germany), Carranza Juan (Cátedra de Recursos Cinegéticos y Piscícolas, Universidad de Córdoba, Spain), Landete-Castillejos Tomás and García Andrés José Díaz (Spanish National Game Research Institute (IREC), Section, in Institute of Regional Development (IDR), University of Castilla-La Mancha (Albacete, Spain).
Popular papers: <Science & Life>, <Science & Life>, <Okhota>, <Priroda>, <Okhota>.


The red deer is an ungulate species, widely distributed in the Northern hemisphere. Red deer descended in Middle Asia approximately 2 million years ago and expanded up to Western Europe and Northern America, forming many subspecies. In different parts of the area, rutting stags produce very different calls: European subspecies produce low-frequency roars, Asian and American subspecies produce high-frequency bugles, whereas the Middle-Asian subspecies produce calls with two frequencies, the low one and the high one.
During the last Pleistocene glacial maximum, red deeroccurred in Europe only in four isolates, an one of them was in Spain. Most modern Western European subspecies originate from this glacial refugium. However, the rutting vocal behaviour of Spanish red deer stags is peculiar: they pronouncedly protrude their tongue during their rutting calls. Furthermore, in spite of their genetic relatedness to other subspecies, rutting roars of Spanish red deer stags are distinctive in their acoustics.
The project consists of a few complementary parts: acoustical, anatomical and behavioural.

The project is directed to:

  • Studying the vocal anatomy and behavioural peculiarities for producing the rutting calls by stags, as well as the acoustics of rutting calls of different subspecies.
  • Comparing calls of hinds of different subspecies.
  • Studying the establishing of the sexual dimorphism in the vocal behaviour along ontogenesis.


sound videoSounds in the Gallery.



Red deer female Red deer male



  • Golosova O.S., Kholodova M.V., Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V., Likhatsky E.Y., Nahlik A., Tari T. Vocal phenotype of male rutting roars and genetic markers delineate East European red deer (Cervus elaphus) from Central and West European populations. Science of Nature, 2021, v. 108: 30. doi: 10.1007/s00114-021-01742-0 266.pdf
  • Rusin I.Y., Volodin I.A., Sitnikova E.F., Litvinov M.N., Andronova R.S., Volodina E.V. Roaring dynamics in rutting male red deer Cervus elaphus from five Russian populations. Russian Journal of Theriology, 2021, V. 20, N 1, P. 4458. doi: 10.15298/rusjtheriol.20.1.06 264.pdf
  • Volodin I.A., Nahlik A., Tari T., Frey R., Volodina E.V. Rutting roars in native Pannonian red deer of Southern Hungary and the evidence of acoustic divergence of male sexual vocalization between Eastern and Western European red deer (Cervus elaphus) // Mammalian Biology, 2019, v. 94, N 1, p. 54-65. doi: 10.1016/j.mambio.2018.10.009 246.pdf
  • Volodin I.A., Sibiryakova O.V., Vasilieva N.A., Volodina E.V., Matrosova V.A., Garcia A.J., Perez-Barberia F.J., Gallego L., Landete-Castillejos T. Between-year vocal aging in female red deer (Cervus elaphus) // BMC Research Notes, 2018, v. 11: 737, p. 1-6. doi: 10.1186/s13104-018-3833-4 245.pdf
  • Volodin I.A., Sibiryakova O.V., Vasilieva N.A., Volodina E.V., Matrosova V.A., Garcia A.J., Perez-Barberia F.J., Gallego L., Landete-Castillejos T. Old and young female voices: effects of body weight, condition and social discomfort on the vocal aging in red deer hinds (Cervus elaphus) // Behaviour, 2018, v. 155, N 10-12, p. 915-939. doi: 10.1163/1568539X-00003513 244.pdf
  • Sibiryakova O.V., Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V. Advertising individual identity by mother and adolescent contact calls in Siberian wapiti Cervus elaphus sibiricus // Ethology, 2018, v. 124, N 10, p. 733-742. doi: 10.1111/eth.12804 243.pdf
  • Golosova O.S., Volodin I.A., Isaeva I.L., Volodina E.V. Effects of free-ranging, semi-captive and captive management on the acoustics of male rutting calls in Siberian wapiti Cervus elaphus sibiricus // Mammal Research, 2017, v. 62, N 4, p. 387-396. 240.pdf

  • Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V., Frey R. Bull bellows and bugles: a remarkable convergence of low and high-frequency vocalizations between male domestic cattle Bos taurus and the rutting calls of Siberian and North American wapiti // Bioacoustics, 2017, v. 26, N 3, p. 271284. 237.pdf

  • Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V., Frey R., Gogoleva S.S., Palko I.V., Rozhnov V.V. Acoustic structure of alarm calls in Indian sambar (Rusa unicolor) and Indian muntjac (Muntiacus vaginalis) in South Vietnam // Doklady Biological Sciences, 2017, V. 474, p. 110113. 311.pdf

  • Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V., Golosova O.S. Automated monitoring of vocal rutting activity in red deer (Cervus elaphus) // Russian Journal of Theriology, 2016, v. 15, N 2, p. 91-99. 228.pdf
  • Volodin I., Sibiryakova O.V., Volodina E. Sex and age-class differences in calls of Siberian wapiti Cervus elaphus sibiricus // Mammalian Biology, 2016, V. 81, 1, P. 10-20. 222.pdf
  • Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V., Sibiryakova O.V., Naidenko S.V., Hernandez-Blanco J.A., Litvinov M.N., Rozhnov V.V. Vocal activity of the red deer and the acoustic structure of its rutting calls in the Russian Far East // Doklady Biological Sciences, 2015, V. 462, p. 144–147. 310.pdf
  • Sibiryakova O.V., Volodin I.A., Matrosova V.A., Volodina E.V., Garcia A.J., Gallego L., Landete-Castillejos T. The power of oral and nasal calls to discriminate individual mothers and offspring in red deer, Cervus elaphus // Frontiers in Zoology, 2015, v. 12:2, p. 1-12. DOI 10.1186/s12983-014-0094-5 217.pdf
  • Volodin I., Matrosova V., Volodina E., Garcia A.J., Gallego L., Márquez R., Llusia D., Beltrán J.F., Landete-Castillejos T. Sex and age-class differences in calls of Iberian red deer during rut: reversed sex dimorphism of pitch and contrasting roars from farmed and wild stags // Acta Ethologica, 2015, v. 18, N 1, p. 19-29. 216.pdf
  • Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V., Frey R, Maymanakova I.L. Studying rut dynamics in a natural population of Siberian wapiti using sound traps // Rare and close to extinction species of large mammals: the strategy of studying and conservation. Novosibirsk, 2013, p. 5-11. 197a.pdf
  • Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V., Frey R., Maymanakova I.L. Vocal activity and acoustic structure of the rutting calls of Siberian wapiti (Cervus elaphus sibiricus) and their imitation with a hunting luring instrument // Russian Journal of Theriology, 2013, V. 12, N 2, P. 99-106. 197.pdf
  • Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V. Applying bioacoustical approach for discriminating across subspecies of red deer and their hybrids in zoos // “Scientific researches in Zoological Parks”, Iss. 29, 2013. P. 162-172. (available in Russian). 195.pdf
  • Volodin I., Volodina E., Frey R., Carranza J., Torres-Porras J. Spectrographic analysis points to source-filter coupling in rutting roars of Iberian red deer // Acta Ethologica, 2013, V. 16, 1, p. 57-63. 193.pdf
  • Frey R., Volodin I., Volodina E., Carranza J., Torres-Porras J. Vocal anatomy, tongue protrusion behaviour and the acoustics of rutting roars in free-ranging Iberian red deer stags (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) // Journal of Anatomy, 2012, v. 220, N 3, p. 271-292. 187.pdf