- Has a distinctive “bark”.
- Can be active in the day and/or night.
- Have scent glands below their eyes for scent marking.
- Males have antlers and are usually larger than females.
- Males have a “V” shape on their foreheads, while females have more of a diamond shape.
Reeve's Muntjac Deer
Animals — Mammals — Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates) — Cervidae (deer)
Muntjac deer are small deer with distinctive antlers, small tusks and the ability to “bark” which gives them an alternate name of barking deer. Adults are small and reddish, males having small antlers and pronounced ridges on the face, while females have much smaller ridges. Fawns are pale and spotted.
They are omnivorous, which is unusual for deer. They do eat a lot of vegetation, such as foliage and fruit, but may also eat eggs and very small animals. In their native China, food is available all year round, allowing them to breed year round. This results in males being aggressive and territorial throughout the year. Males and females are mostly solitary with their own territories.
This species is classed as “Low Concern” by the IUCN. They have a wide distribution in southern China and are common. They have also established several feral populations, including in England, where a captive escape in 1925 started a very successful population.
Habitat: Subtropical rainforest in their native China. Feral populations also survive in more open forest.
–Average weight: 13.5kg
–Average length: 0.8m
In the wild up to: 12 years
In captivity up to: 18 years, and potentially even longer.
Diet: They are omnivores and so eat plants and meat.
Distribution: Forests of South-East China, and forests of Taiwan. Introduced populations in England and other locations in northern Europe.