Between 1860 and 1910 there were at least 24 successful releases of this small species, which is native to countries bordering the Mediterranean. By the 2000s, fallow deer were patchily distributed in both the North and South islands. The official view of them has varied over time. At first they were seen as a resource (1860s–1930s), then a pest (1930s–1980s), briefly a resource again (1980s) and then a pest (1990s–present). Hunters have always viewed deer as a resource.
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