Visayan Spotted Deer Facts
- Most notably, the remarkable Visayan Spotted Deer remains somewhat of a mystery to researchers. This primarily holds true due to the fact that the animal is rarely ever seen in the wild.
- In 2009, researchers found the first evidence of the existence of the animal in the wild in more than 10 years. Furthermore, it was not until 2012 that the first photographing of it in its native habitat occurred.
- Further, an estimated 2,500 individuals of this amazing animal live in various locations, such as zoos, around the world. However, its wild population appears to be extremely small, and diminishing. Estimates place this number at no ore than 300 individuals.
- 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, both for meat and for the pet trade, threatens it as well.
Visayan Spotted Deer Physical Description
Firstly, the marvelous Visayan Spotted Deer represents a physically small species of its kind. Despite that fact, however, the rare creature nevertheless remains the largest of the three types of deer in its region.
Also, it displays only a slight degree 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.
An overall average body length equals between (49 – 51 in 125 – 130 cm). Meanwhile, shoulder height averages roughly 28 – 31 in (70 – 80 cm). But adult weight varies significantly. This runs from 55 – 176 lb (25 – 80 kg).
Finally, its coloring 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 impressive animal evolved as entirely herbivorous in nature. Therefore, its diet typically consists of a limited 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.