Muntjac – Muntiacus reevesi

Distribution

Introduced into Britain from China in 1900, many escaped from their private estates and are now well established in southern England, where they colonize woodland and dense scrubland.

Active by day or night muntjac are mostly seen at dusk. They utter loud barks over prolonged periods and equally loud distress calls. They are mainly solitary animals but may be seen in family groups.

The males, or bucks, have short backward curving antlers which are shed in May or June and re-grow to full size by October or November. These are not used as weapons, but instead the elongated, protruding tusk-like teeth of the male can be used for this purpose. In common with all deer species except the reindeer, the female does not have antlers or the elongated teeth of the male.

Origin:Introduced from China.

Size:Body length up to 90 cm, similar in size to a fox.

Description:Glossy red-brown summer coat with a white rump. Male has short backwardly curving antlers (up to 10 cm long), female has no antlers. Upper canines of male are elongated, forming tusks which protrude from lips and in territorial fights are used as weapons.

Habitat:Woodland, scrub, undisturbed gardens (and can cause considerable damage).

Young:No fixed breeding season, can fawn every seven months.
Diet:Browse shrubs, trees and eat fruit.

Population:Estimated at be at least 52,000, mostly in England.
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