Different types of exotic deer
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Pudu. (Pudu puda and Pudu mephistophiles). Indian Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjac) (Muntiacus muntjac).
– Different types of exotic deer
By Matthew L. For many of us, deer are the most familiar and most encountered large mammals. Across the United States, the white-tailed deer thrives in rural, suburban and even urban environments. But the deer family, Cervidae, consists of 55 species subject to taxonomic debate found around the world. Others, though, are small and secretive — and bizarre. There are deer with tusks instead of antlers, deer that bark and at least one deer that no researcher has ever seen alive.
Here are 6 cool and cryptic little deer, and where to find them. Unlike most deer species, the water deer lacks antlers. Instead, it has tusks — actually canine teeth that point down.
Water deer are native to much of Korea and parts of China. In the late s, they were introduced to Woburn Abbey , an English deer park known for its exotic species. Water deer from Woburn and another British park escaped, resulting in a feral population existing in parts of England. Where to See: Water deer are widespread and even considered an agricultural pest in Korea.
Some dedicated mammal watchers have reported finding them in places like Seosan Lakes. I consider Woburn Abbey a must-see for dedicated deer nerds. Two closely related species of pudu, the northern and southern, are the smallest deer species on earth.
They stand about 12 to 17 inches at the shoulder; at birth fawns are only about six inches high. And a pudu fawn is almost impossibly cute: part bunny, part Bambi, part plush toy. The deer live in South American temperate rainforests, and have suffered heavily from habitat loss. Where to See: Finding a pudu in a thick rainforest is not easy. Mammal watcher extraordinaire Jon Hall recommends Parque Tepuhueico , a private reserve in Chile, for excellent chances at spotting southern pudu.
They have small tusks, which they use for fighting. They give a sharp, loud bark as an alarm. There are around 15 species of these animals, most found in South Asia. The Indian muntjac is relatively common, but is still poorly understood. It has fewer chromosomes 7 for the male, 6 for the female , than any other mammal.
The Indian muntjac, unlike most hoofed mammals, is omnivorous, and has been documented dining on eggs and even carrion. It has a visible post-orbital gland — the dark spot at the base of the eye — that it uses for scent marking its territory. You will often have only a quick view as the muntjac darts back into thick habitat. Another species, the Reeves muntjac, was another deer introduction to Woburn Abbey.
And like the water deer, muntjac escaped. The species is now invasive and can be seen throughout the British countryside. Like the saola, no Western researcher has ever seen a live Truong Son muntjac. The initial species description was based on skulls found in village markets and homes. There was a ten year period beginning in when there was no further evidence of these muntjacs.
In , a forest guard found a Truong Son muntjac in a trap and released it, documented on video. The Annamite Mountains are home to another endemic muntjac species, the large-antlered muntjac.
Unfortunately, these special animals are all threatened by rampant poaching by snares. Where to See: The Truong Son muntjac is a true grail mammal. Seeing one would require a difficult expedition, extraordinary field skills and even more extraordinary luck. At first glance, brocket deer appear to be the New World version of muntjacs.
As recently as the s, taxonomists recognized only four brocket species. Recent studies indicate there may be as many as 23 species. Some are relatively common and even frequently seen — if briefly — in national parks, reserves and cultural sites.
Many species, though, are rarely seen, even by researchers. The pygmy brocket is a perfect example. Found in a small region of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, it is secretive and nocturnal. Even on this crowded, heavily-studied planet, there are secrets. Even among deer. It has short legs and tips its head back when running, so that it looks more like a pig than a deer hence the name. Although a typically solitary species, they can be seen in large herds gathering on grasslands after a fire, where they feed on grass shoots.
Many deer species in the world have not fared as well as white-tailed deer, including the hog deer. Their South Asian populations have declined by more than 90 percent over the past 25 years due to poaching and habitat loss. They are mainly now confined to national parks and reserves. Where to See: Kaziranga National Park, located in northeastern India, is the stronghold of hog deer, with an estimated population of 15, animals.
This spectacular park is also home to one-horned rhinos, elephants, wild water buffalo, swamp deer and more. Please note that all comments are moderated and may take some time to appear. Hi Michael, Thanks for your comment. The Key deer are really interesting and have not fared as well as most white-tailed deer.
England has about six species of deer in the country side, including the muntjac. I kept my eyes open and looked for deer while bicycling in the Cotswolds and the Lake District in June of , but the only time I saw deer, was three together, bedded down along the train tracks in a wheat field between Cheltenham and Lancaster.
As far as I could tell, most of England is prime deer habitat but apparently, poaching is still a problem.
Unfortunately, I think, Robin Hood and his band of merry men were quite thorough in their work. So English deer have a long road back. Hi Steven, Thanks for your comment. They have to live in a very crowded place, and legal hunting takes place in many areas that would be deemed too close to homes in the United States. I saw water deer and muntjac outside the park at Woburn, as well as roe deer on an estate near Salisbury. It is an excellent guide to finding wildlife in the UK, including all the deer species.
What an interesting and amazing article about deer. I had no idea there were so many different species. Your article did not mention this species. Thank you. Hi Patricia, Thanks for your comment. I considered including the Key deer, as I have seen them too and think they are really cool deer. However, Key deer are not a separate species — they are a subspecies of white-tailed deer. Unlike many white-tailed deer, the Key subspecies has had a more difficult time adapting to humanity.
The national wildlife refuge was created specifically to protect it. They are very interesting animals, and I encourage all deer fans and naturalists to make the trip to the Keys to see them.
Enjoyed this and was not aware of all these different kinds of deer…thanks for putting this together. No need to respond. Love this article. Who knew there were so many deer species in the world. How ironic considering deer are so timid and innocent. I nearly included them and it seems many readers wished I would have! Key deer are a subspecies of white-tailed deer, not a species. But they are really interesting little deer.
I loved seem them on Big Pine Key. I nearly included the Key deer, and probably should have as it is popular one with readers. It is a subspecies of white-tailed deer and definitely a cool animal. Based on the reader interest, I am considering doing another blog on these deer. Thanks for reading. A wonderfully written article about some of the rare species of deer which one would not normally come across from different parts of the world! Did you forget our own Key deer that live here in the Florida Keys?
They are so very much endangered. Hurricane Irma blew trees down and then flooded their lands with salt water which, when receded, left behind highly saline ponds. Then the land dried up and forest fires began. In addition, the hurricane blew down the protective fences along highway US One.
Many deer were hit by cars and trucks. I have long suggested establishing a separate herd for breeding in safer places in the Keys or near the Keys.
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4 Horn sheep Addax Aoudad Axis Bison Blackbuck Blesbok Dama Gazelle Eland Elk Fallow Gemsbok Grant Gazelle Hybrid Ibex Impala Longhorn Mouflon Nile Lechwe . DEER SPECIES. Forister Exotics has the following exotic deer species: Axis. Fallow. Sika. European Red Stag. brocket (genus Mazama) caribou or reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) moose (Alces alces) mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) black-tailed deer (O. hemionus columbianus) roe deer .