Colour of the hunters’ clothing and the alertness in Capreolus capreolus (Artiodactyla: Cervidae) [Ostražitost srnce obecného (Capreolus capreolus) na barvu loveckého oblečení (Artiodactyla: Cervidae)]
Obleser Petr, Waignerová Pavla, Bartoš Luděk, Burda Hynek
|Citation||PETR, Obleser, PAVLA, Waignerová, LUDĚK, Bartoš a HYNEK, Burda. Colour of the hunters’ clothing and the alertness in Capreolus capreolus (Artiodactyla: Cervidae) [Ostražitost srnce obecného (Capreolus capreolus) na barvu loveckého oblečení (Artiodactyla: Cervidae)]. Lynx, new series. Prague: National Museum, 2019, 50(1), 87–96. ISSN 0024-7774 (print), 1804-6460 (online). Also available from: https://publikace.nm.cz/en/periodicals/lns/50-1/colour-of-the-hunters-clothing-and-the-alertness-in-capreolus-capreolus-artiodactyla-cervidae-ostrazitost-srnce-obecneho-capreolus-capreolus-na-barvu-loveckeho-obleceni-artiodactyla-cervidae|
Under the so-called “hunter orange regulation”, deer hunters in North America and Scandinavia are required to wear orange garment to maximize hunter‘s safety. It is argued that this practice does not negatively impact hunting success because deer are (assumed to be) red-green colour-blind. This assumption is based on the retinal immunocytochemical studies, yet the behavioural evidence is sparse and controversial. We studied alert responses of the roe deer towards approaching persons wearing a green and camouflage coat, as customary in hunters in Central Europe, and an orange vest, as prescribed in some countries. We found a significant effect of the garment’s colour in that the roe deer were most sensitive to and most alerted by the orange outfit. While the ability of differentiating green and orange colours cannot be fully excluded, the higher sensitivity to brightness (luminosity, lightness) of the orange vest over the dull green coat is highly probable. Extending and deepening studies of visual performance in artiodactyls might have practical implications (such as the question of appropriate camouflage of hunters and wildlife observers) but also help to get better insight into the evolution of mammalian colour vision.