Visayan Spotted Deer Facts
- The sincerely remarkable creature known commonly as the Visayan Spotted Deer remains somewhat of a mystery to researchers. This primarily holds true due to the startling but true fact that sightings of this astounding animal in the wild rarely occur.
- In the year 2009, researchers found the first evidence of the existence of the animal in the wild in more than 10 years. In addition, it was not until 2012 that the first successful photographing of the gorgeous mammal in its native habitat occurred.
- An estimated 2,500 of the Visayan Spotted Deer live in various locations. Quite unfortunately, these consist of locations such as zoos, around the world. However, its wild population appears to be extremely small, and diminishing.
- Due to its numbers, and the threats it faces, the IUCN lists it as Endangered. Its greatest threat appears to be deforestation. But, hunting by locals threatens it as well. Current estimates place its population at no ore than 300 individuals.
Visayan Spotted Deer Physical Description
Firstly, the marvelous Visayan Spotted Deer represents a physically small species of its kind, proving that size has no bearing on beauty. Despite that fact, however, the rare creature nevertheless remains the largest of the three types of deer in its region.
Also, this magnificent animal displays only a slight degree of the trait of sexual dimorphism. In its case, the males grow slightly larger than the females. These also develop short, thick antlers. The female, however, does not develop these.
Additionally, an overall average body length of mature adults equals between (49 – 51 in 125 – 130 cm). Meanwhile, shoulder height averages roughly 28 – 31 in (70 – 80 cm). But adult weight varies quite significantly. This runs from 55 – 176 lb (25 – 80 kg).
Finally, the coloring of the Visayan Spotted Deer consists of several patterns. The back and sides tend to be dark brown, while the neck and head appear a lighter shade. Further, the stomach usually presents a creamy-white shade. A pattern of beige spots also dots its sides and back.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Cervidae
- Genus: Rusa
- Species: R. alfredi
Visayan Spotted Deer Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The wonderful Visayan Spotted Deer, quite sadly, has an extremely limited natural range. While it once existed on other islands, it now lives in the wild only on two islands These consist of the Visayan islands of Negros and Panay, in the Philippines, in Asia.
Yet, even there, it lives only in specific portions of the islands. These include sections of forest, and the local grasslands. Additionally, it once lived from the shore to the heights. But now, it only thrives in the higher altitudes, up to 6,561 ft (2,000 m).
Also, like all other known types of deer, the Visayan Spotted Deer evolved as entirely herbivorous in terms of its nature. Therefore, its diet typically consists of a limited variety of various buds, grasses, and leaves endemic to the local forest.
It also evolved as primarily nocturnal in nature. As a result, it typically emerges at night to feed in small clearings. In addition, the mammal usually travels in small groups. However, males sometime live solitary lives. Otherwise, researchers know little of its life cycle.