Scientific Name: Muntiacus reevesi
The Reeves’ muntjac takes its name from John Reeves, an English naturalist known for his collection of drawings depicting Chinese animals and plants.
Even though they are native to China, a group of Reeves’ muntjac has been found roaming England, possibly the descendants of a group of muntjacs that escaped from Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire.
STATUS: The Reeves’ muntjac is listed as of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
HABITAT: These animals are native to the forests and dense vegetation of Taiwan and southeastern China.
DIET: The typical meal of the Reeves’ muntjac is comprised of fruit and vegetation that it finds lying on the forest floor.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Reeves’ muntjac is a small deer that is about 16 inches tall, about 36 inches long, and weighs between 10 and 18 pounds as an adult. Males typically have horns measuring about three inches in length, as well as sharp canine teeth that are used for fighting or defense. Females do not grow horns; however, they do have sharp canines, though not to the extent of their male counterparts. Their coat is a light brown with darker limbs, and their snout and forehead usually has darker stripes lining it.
A Barking Deer
Muntjacs are typically solitary creatures that are very protective of their territory; however, they will make their presence known to nearby forest creatures. When frightened, the muntjac will make a loud barking sound to ward off possible predators. This barking sound may also be used to attract a female for mating as well as for defending its territory against other muntjacs who may be steeping into the wrong land. Despite the appearance of horns, muntjacs prefer to use to their sharp canine teeth to wound enemies rather than try and gore them. A foreboding bark, possibly coupled with a sharp bite, give the muntjac an effective method of defending itself in its dangerous forest habitat.