Name: Muntjac Deer
Scientific name: Muntiacus reevesi
Nature Stars: 50
About: The Muntjac was first introduced to Woburn in Bedfordshire, from Asia, at the start of the 20th century. It is now a common animal across south east England and spreading and increasing. It is a small deer, only about 40cm tall at the shoulders, around the same size as a medium sized dog. It is a stocky, barrel-shaped animal with relatively short legs and a short, thick neck. The male has short, unbranched antlers and a pair of long, 'fang-like' canine teeth. Muntjacs live in woodland, parkland, even in larger gardens. Muntjac are also known as 'barking deer' because of their dog-like voice, most often heard in the autumn.
How to identify: A very small, stocky deer without obvious antlers, often glimpsed crashing through the undergrowth in a dark woodland in southern England, will be a Muntjac.
Where: Common and increasing in southern England, spreading northwards.
Fantastic fact: Our Muntjac is one of 13 species of Muntjac deer native to Asia. Amazingly, five of these species have been discovered as new to science since 1990.
Photograph credit: Wildstock