INDIAN MUNTJAC – Muntiacus muntjak


Indian muntjac facts: Measures 35 to 53.2 inches (89 to 135 centimeters) long with a shoulder height of 15.7 to 25.6 inches (40 to 65 centimeters). Weight ranges from 33.1 to 77.2 pounds (15 to 35 kilograms), with males being larger than females. Males have small antlers about 6 inches (15 centimeters) long. Females have small knobs where antlers would be. Coat coloration is gold and white, with limbs and face being dark to reddish brown. Indian muntjacs have small ears and tusk-like upper canines measuring 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in males.

Geographic range: Found in northeastern Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, southern China, Vietnam, Malay Peninsula and some nearby islands, Riau Archipelago, Sumatra and Nias Island to the west, Bangka, Belitun Island, Java, Bali, and Borneo.

Indian muntjac habitat: Indian muntjacs live in tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, and scrub forests as well as hilly areas, grasslands, and savannas. They must remain near a water source.

What does indian muntjac eat: Feed on herbs, fruit, birds’ eggs, small animals, seeds, sprouts, and grasses found at the edge of the forest or in a clearing. They catch animals by biting with their canines and punching with their strong forelegs.

Behavior and reproduction: Although they sometimes move in pairs or small groups, adults are solitary (lone). When in danger of predation, Indian muntjacs bark like dogs, sometimes for more than an hour, to scare away the predator. Pythons, jackals, tigers, leopards, and crocodiles are the primary enemies of this deer.

This deer is ready to breed between the ages of six and twelve months. After a six-month pregnancy, females give birth to one fawn, rarely two, which remains with the mother until the age of six months. Though no one is sure how long muntjacs live in the wild, this species lives about seventeen years in captivity.

Indian muntjacs and people: Muntjacs are hunted for their meat and skins, and hunters themselves make the barking sound of the muntjac to warn other hunters of approaching danger, such as a tiger. Muntjac populations are a threat when found in larger numbers because they tear bark from trees, which takes a toll on sources for humans’ shelter and fuel.

Conservation status: The Indian muntjac is not considered threatened.