Chinese muntjac

A small deer with a large amount of names…

Chinese muntjac, Reeves muntjac, Mastreani deer or barking deer…take your pick.

Chinese muntjac are native to South East China but were introduced to the Britain around 1900. Their numbers and range in the U.K. have increased considerably over the years and they can now be found in Wales as well.

They are the oldest deer known to man with fossil records dating back to somewhere between fifteen and thirty million years ago!

One thing that sets the muntjac apart from our native deer is that male muntjacs have ‘tusks’. These are actually downward pointing canine teeth and come in useful when in a fight for territory.

Another way to tell if a muntjac is really a muntjac is by the very visible glands on their face. All muntjac have two pairs and they all are used for marking of territories.

Conservation

Listed as least concern, muntjac numbers are healthy. Infact, it is thought that they may well become the most numerous species of deer in England. Mainly found in woods and forests they are known to stray into gardens and help themselves to the plants…it is here where they can come into conflict with humans.

Chinese muntjac questions and answers

How long do they live for?
Bucks (males) can live up to sixteen years and the does (females) up to nineteen years.

How small are they?
Quite small. They grow to just under 50cm (20 inches) high and are less than a one metre (40 inches) in length.

How much do they weigh?
Anywhere between 9-16kg.

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