SEAVR 
 

Home  
覧覧覧覧覧  
SE Asia fauna ...  
   
Primates
Carnivorans
Other Large Mammals
Squirrels & Small Mammals
Bats
覧覧
Birds
覧覧
Snakes
Lizards & Crocodilians
Turtles
覧覧
Amphibians
FFrogs & other calls
覧覧
Fishes
覧覧
Species Lists
 







 
覧覧覧覧覧  
New! SE Asia Vertebrate Records  (SEAVR)  
覧覧覧覧覧  
New Guinea fauna ...  
   
Snakes
Lizards
Frogs
 
覧覧覧覧覧  
Articles & Publications
News Links
Singapore sightings
Feedback
Image policy
 
覧覧覧覧覧  
 

Search this site ...

 
 


   

 
  覧覧覧覧覧  

Recently added ...
 
 
     
 
     
 
 
覧覧覧覧覧  
     
   
     
    Links :  
  HabitatID  
  Primatewatching  
  Intl. Otter Survival Fund
  Orang Utan Appeal (UK)  
  Wallace Online  
    Cicada Tree Eco-place  
  Malaysian Nature Society  
    Citizen Action for Tigers  
    Nature Society (Singapore)  
  Traffic  
    Wild Singapore  
     
  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2017
   

 

   
   
 
Red Muntjac
   
   

Fig 1
 


Fig 2


Fig 3


Fig 4

 

Order : ARTIODACTYLA
Family : Cervidae
Species : Muntiacus muntjak

Head-Body Length : Males up to 1.1 metres
Tail Length : Males up to 19 cm 
Weight : Males up to 28 kg
Females are somewhat smaller.

The Red, or Indian Muntjac, is the most widespread species of 'barking deer'. It inhabits a wide variety of forest types including primary and secondary rainforest, dry forest, hill forest and montane habitats (reportedly up to 3000 metres elevation), sometimes venturing into adjacent grassland to graze.

Its typical diet includes young leaves, shoots, tree bark, grass and fallen fruits. Small ground-dwelling vertebrates may also be consumed.

The species is generally nocturnal, however in protected areas, where they are not persecuted, these deer may be active by day and can become relatively tame.

Twelve species of 'barking deer' are currently recognised, of which 11 occur in Southeast Asia, particularly in the north of the region. They are called 'barking deer' due to the alarm call they make when a predator or other threat is nearby - the call sounds like the piercing bark of a small dog.

Muntjacs are small in stature, but the Red Muntjac is one of the larger species, weighing up to 28 kg, and with a shoulder height of up to 55 cm. Its fur colour varies from pale orange to reddish brown, paler underneath, and with a pale throat. Juveniles sometimes have white spots. The tail measures up to 19 cm, the underside of which is white.

The species has complex and attractive facial markings with dark eyebrows and long dark eyelashes. There is a pre-orbital gland below each eye : secretions from this gland are used for chemical communication, and males use the secretions to mark their territory.

Males have small antlers of up to 13 cm, arising from bony pedicels of up to 15 cm. Despite the small antlers, males will fiercely protect their harem and their territory from other males. They also possess enlarged upper canine teeth which can inflict damage on a rival.
 
Muntjacs form a key part of the prey base for large predators in many parts of Southeast Asia. They may be preyed upon by large cats such as Tigers and Leopards, large pythons, wild dogs and crocodiles.

The Red Muntjac occurs naturally in India, Sri Lanka, China and Taiwan and other locales. In Southeast Asia it ranges from Burma, Thailand and Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) through Peninsular Malaysia to Borneo and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java.


Figs 1 and 2 : Female specimens grazing by day in a grassland area of Khao Yai National Park, Thailand.

Fig 3 : Close-up of the head. Note the large, pre-orbital gland below each eye.

Fig 4 : Male specimen with antlers examining a shallow pool in lowland freshwater swamp forest, Peninsular Malaysia.


References : M5