Tuesday 18 June
Tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus)
Tufted deer fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Tufted deer description
The tufted deer is a fairly dainty deer, named after the tuft of long, blackish-brown hair growing from the forehead (2) (3). The antlers of male tufted deer are diminutive spikes, rarely protruding beyond the distinctive tuft of hair (3). Its body is a deep chocolate brown in colour on the upperparts, white below, with the coat composed of coarse, almost spine-like hairs, which give the tufted deer a somewhat shaggy appearance (2). The head and neck are grey, with white markings highlighting the tips of the ears (2). The underside of the tail is also white and can be seen as the deer holds its tail up as it runs (3). Both male and female tufted deer have large, stout upper canines (3), with those of the male forming tusks up to 2.5 centimetres long (4).
- Head-body length: 110 – 160 cm (2)
- Tail length: 7 – 15 cm (2)
- Shoulder height: 50 – 70 cm (2)
- 17 – 50 kg (2)
Tufted deer biology
This rarely seen deer, which is most active at dusk and dawn (3), is usually solitary and only occasionally travels in pairs (2). Moving about its territory, which males aggressively defend from others (3), the tufted deer searches for grasses and other vegetation on which to feed, with the white underside of the tail flashing into view with every bounce as it walks (2). If disturbed, the tufted deer may bark in alarm and will take flight, moving with nimble, cat-like jumps (2) (3).
The mating season, or rut, takes place from September until December (5), when the loud barks of the tufted deer can be heard more frequently (2). After a gestation of 210 days, a single young is born between May and July. The tufted deer reaches sexual maturity around the age of nine months (5).Top
Tufted deer range
The tufted deer occurs across southern and south-eastern China to eastern Tibet and into northern Myanmar (2) (5). E. c. cephalophus is the most westerly of the subspecies, ranging from north-eastern Myanmar into south-western China (5). E. c. ichangensis occurs in central-southern China and north-eastern Myanmar and E. c. michianus is restricted to coastal provinces of eastern China, while the distribution of E. c. fociensis is not clear (5).Top
Tufted deer habitatTop
Tufted deer status
Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Tufted deer threats
Very little is known about the status and threats of this elusive deer, other than it is hunted by local people (5), and a reported 100,000 individuals are killed each year (2). Thus, it is very likely that numbers of this species are declining significantly (1).Top
Tufted deer conservation
To remedy the lack of information on the tufted deer, further research has been recommended, including population censuses, surveys, ecological studies and investigations into human exploitation of this deer (1) (5). Such knowledge will help inform future conservation measures should they be needed.Top
AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: email@example.comTop
- The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
- A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
- IUCN Red List (June, 2009)
- Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker's Mammals of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
- Geist, V. (1999) Deer of the World: Their Evolution, Behaviour, and Ecology. Swan Hill Press, Shrewsbury, England.
- Macdonald, D.W. (2006) The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Wemmer, C. (1998) Deer: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Deer Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Creative commons material
Any other use