The history of deer species, their current distribution and their numbers are summarised, but there is paucity of reliable information about deer populations in Ireland. Aspects of how deer use commercial forests and particular habitat preference are described. The issue of deer in
commercial forests in Ireland is discussed in the context of a number of local studies, though there is a lack of knowledge as to the extent of issues discussed. The types of impacts and damage observed in Irish plantation forests, particularly bark stripping and browsing, show the likely effects on the plantation crops. Calculating the potential economic cost of damage is difficult since relatively few studies have been carried out in Ireland, and national baseline quantitative data are lacking. Deer are protected by legislation in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and there is no formal deer management policy in Ireland.