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Reeve's Muntjac

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Reeve's muntjac, Chinese muntjac
Genus Species
Muntiacus (Sunda language for muntjac) reevesi

Fast Facts

The Reeve's muntjac is a small brown deer with branched antlers, and a longer nose than other deer. It has a gray to reddish-brown coat with blackish brown legs, and a white chin and throat with a black stripe along the nape of the neck.
Male: Males have small tusk-like canines, which can grow up to 2.5 cm (1 in.) long and small antlers, averaging 7 to 8 cm (2.75 to 3.2 in.) in length.
Approximately 40 cm (16 in.) tall at shoulder
Female: Females are smaller than males
11 to 16 kg (24 to 35 lbs.)
Includes leaves, fruit, bark, fungi, and herbs
Approximately 7 months; 1 offspring (rarely 2) is born at a time
Sexual Maturity
Approximately 6 months
Life Span
Up to 10 years
Southern China and Taiwan
Deciduous forests
Global: Exact numbers are not known; however, they are commonly found in their native habitat
IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed; one subspecies is endangered

Fun Facts

  1. This species is one of the smallest members of the deer family.
  2. Reeve's muntjac is primarily crepuscular, active at dawn and dusk.
  3. They have a long tongue that is used to strip leaves from bushes.
  4. The upper canine teeth of the males are elongated tusks that serve as excellent defense weapons, capable of causing serious injury to predators. Although the antlers of males may be used in battle, the sharp canines are more effective.
  5. 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. They are also known to make barking sounds during their mating season.
  6. Human introduction has actually produced a wild population of Reeve's muntjac subspecies in the southern half of England.
  7. Both sexes defend small, solitary territories. These areas are scent marked with preorbital gland secretions.

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.


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

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

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