Belongs to: deer

Compare with: roe deer

Muntjac deer Muntiacus reevesi

Also known as: barking deer


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

A small deer no larger than a labrador dog

Habitat: dense woodland cover

Introduced from China this century; widespread across southern and eastern England and spreading

Recognition

Dark brown with a short broad tail; male has short antlers; 50 cm at the shoulder

Solitary or live in pairs; nocturnal and secretive; territorial; often feed in gardens

Browse on shrubs, saplings and flowers; can damage trees and wildlife habitats; hoofprints 3cm and droppings 1cm

Lifecycle

Breed all the year round, producing 1 or 2 fawns each year

Young are heavily spotted

Make a loud barking noise, often repeated, hence their alternative name of barking deer

  • Main photo

Photo © Alan Williams