Indian Muntjac Indian Muntjac
Indian Muntjac

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Indian muntjac, Southern red muntjac, barking deer, kakar
Artiodactyla; more recently Cetartiodactyla
Genus Species
Muntiacus (Sunda language for muntjac) muntjak

Fast Facts

This is a small, brown deer with branched antlers and a longer nose than other types of deer.
Approximately 40 to 65 cm (16 to 26 in.) tall at shoulder
Female: Females are smaller than males
15.9 to 34 kg (35 to 75 lbs.)
 Omnivorous and feeds on grass, fruits, leaves, seeds, bird eggs,gives birth to one and occasionally 2 offspring and small animals. This species may also occasionally scavenge on carrion.
Gestation lasts approximately 7 months; gives birth to one and occasionally 2 offspring
Sexual Maturity
Approximately 6 months
Life Span
Up to 10 years
India, Sri Lanka, Tibet, South West China, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya, Sumatra, Java, and Borneo
The Indian muntjac is found in tropical and subtropical deciduous forests, grasslands, savannas, and scrub forests, as well as in the hilly country on the slopes of the Himalayas. They are found at altitudes ranging from sea level up to 3,000 meters (9,800 ft.). They never wander far from water.
Global: Camera-trap studies on all main occupied landmasses show this to be a common species. Population appears to be declining but is not severely fragmented.
IUCN: Least concern
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

  1. The Indian muntjac 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.

Ecology and Conservation

The Indian Muntjac is an important source of bushmeat. Selected body parts and the fetus are also used in traditional medicine.

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.

The Indian muntjac appears to be extinct in Singapore.


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.

Encyclopedia of Life – Indian Muntjac Species Profile.  Downloaded 16 October 2018.

Timmins, R.J., Duckworth, J.W. & Hedges, S. 2016. Muntiacus muntjak. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T42190A56005589. Downloaded on 16 October 2018.