Indian Muntjac

Indian Muntjac

Mammalia

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: Indian muntjac, Javan muntjac
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Artiodactyla
FAMILY: Cervidae
GENUS SPECIES: Muntiacus (Sunda language for muntjac) muntjak

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: This is a small, brown deer with branched antlers and a longer nose than other types of deer.
SIZE: Approximately 40-65 cm (16-26 in.) tall at shoulder
FEMALE Females are smaller than males
WEIGHT: 15.9-34 kg (35-75 lb.)
DIET: Includes leaves, fruit, bark, fungi, herbs
GESTATION: Gestation lasts approximately 7 months; one offspring (rarely 2) at a time
SEXUAL MATURITY: Approximately 6 months
LIFE SPAN: Up to 10 years
RANGE: India, Sri Lanka, Tibet, South West China, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya, Sumatra, Java, and Borneo
HABITAT: Inhabits rainforest and monsoon forest
POPULATION: GLOBAL Unknown
STATUS: IUCN Not listed
CITES Not listed
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. This species is one of the smallest members of the deer family.
2. The upper canine teeth of the males are elongated making tusks that extend outward from the lips. The tusks are excellent defense weapons, capable of causing serious injury to potential attackers.
3. Muntjacs are also referred to as "barking deer" due to the deep bark like sounds they are known to make when on alert. This means of communication is important for this forest dwelling species, which is often found in areas of poor visibility.
4. Human introduction has actually produced a wild population of Reeves muntjac subspecies in the southern half of England. A wild population of the Indian muntjac also once lived there, but is now considered extinct in that region.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

Muntjacs are hunted for their meat and skin.

Due to their habit of destroying trees by ripping off the bark for food, they are considered a pest in some regions.

Overall, their numbers are decreasing because of uncontrolled hunting and habitat destruction.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Estes, R. D. The Safari Companion. Post Mills, Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 1993.

MacDonald, D. The Encyclopedia of Mammals: 2. London: George Allen & Unwin Co., 1985.

Nowak, R.M. Walker's Mammals of the World. Fifth edition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.