Muntjacs ( ), also known as barking deer or rib-faced deer are small
deer Deer or true deer are ed s forming the Cervidae. The two main groups of deer are the , including the , the (wapiti), the , and the ; and the , including the (caribou), , the , and the . Male deer of all species (except the Chinese ) as we ...

of the genus ''Muntiacus'' native to south and southeast Asia. Muntjacs are thought to have begun appearing 15–35 million years ago, with remains found in
Miocene The Miocene ( ) is the first of the Period and extends from about (Ma). The Miocene was named by Scottish geologist ; its name comes from the Greek words (', "less") and (', "new") and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea s ...
deposits in France, Germany and Poland. Most species are listed as
Least Concern A least-concern species is a species that has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN; officially International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural ...
or Data Deficient by the IUCN although others such as the black muntjac, Bornean yellow muntjac and giant muntjac are Vulnerable, Near Threatened and Critically Endangered respectively.


The present name is a borrowing of the
Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in the USSR during the 1920s and 1930s to replace traditional writing sy ...
form of the
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
, which was borrowed from the Sundanese ''mēncēk''. The
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

form first appeared as in Zimmerman in 1780. An erroneous alternative name of 'Mastreani deer' has its origins in a mischievous Wikipedia entry from 2011 and is incorrect.


The present-day species are native to Asia and can be found in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Indonesian islands, Taiwan and Southern China. Their habitat includes areas of dense vegetation, rainforests, monsoon forests and they like to be close to a water source. They are also found in the lower Himalayas (Terai regions of Nepal and Bhutan). An invasive species, invasive population of Reeves's muntjac exists in the United Kingdom and in some areas of Japan (the Bōsō Peninsula and Izu Ōshima Island). In the United Kingdom, wild deer descended from escapees from the Woburn Abbey estate around 1925. Muntjac have expanded very rapidly, and are now present in most English counties and have also expanded their range into Wales, although they are less common in the north-west. The British Deer Society coordinated a survey of wild deer in the UK between 2005 and 2007, and they reported that muntjac deer had noticeably expanded their range since the previous census in 2000. It is anticipated that muntjac may soon become the most numerous species of deer in England and may have also crossed the border into Scotland with a couple of specimens even appearing in Northern Ireland in 2009; they have been spotted in the Republic of Ireland in 2010, almost certainly having reached there with some human assistance. Inhabiting tropical regions, the deer have no seasonal Rut (mammalian reproduction), rut, and mating can take place at any time of year; this behaviour is retained by populations introduced to temperate countries. Males have short antlers, which can regrow, but they tend to fight for territory with their "tusks" (downward-pointing canine teeth). The presence of these "tusks" is otherwise unknown in native British wild deer and can be an identifying feature to differentiate a muntjac from an immature native deer. Water deer also have visible tusks but they are much less widespread. Muntjac are of great interest in evolutionary studies because of their dramatic chromosome variations and the recent discovery of several new species. The Indian muntjac (''M. muntjak'') is the mammal with the lowest recorded chromosome number: The male has a diploid number of 7, the female only 6 chromosomes. Reeves's muntjac (''M. reevesi''), in comparison, has a diploid number of 46 chromosomes.


The genus ''Muntiacus'' has 12 recognized species: * Indian muntjac or common muntjac or kakar, ''Muntiacus muntjak'' * Reeves's muntjac or Chinese muntjac, ''M. reevesi'' * Bornean yellow muntjac, ''M. atherodes'' * Hairy-fronted muntjac or black muntjac, ''M. crinifrons'' * Fea's muntjac, ''M. feae'' * Gongshan muntjac, ''M. gongshanensis'' * Malabar red muntjak, ''M. malabaricus'' * Sumatran muntjac ''M. montanus'' * Leaf muntjac ''M. putaoensis'' * Pu Hoat muntjac ''M. puhoatensis'' * Roosevelt's muntjac, ''M. rooseveltorum'' * Truong Son muntjac ''M. truongsonensis'' * Giant muntjac, ''M. vuquangensis''

See also

*Deer of Great Britain


External links

BBC Wales Nature: Muntjac deer article
* {{Taxonbar, from=Q234121 Muntjac, Deer Mammals of Asia, Mammals of Southeast Asia,   Mammals of Bangladesh Mammals of Bhutan Mammals of Myanmar Mammals of China Mammals of India Mammals of Indonesia Mammals of Japan Mammals of Malaysia Mammals of Sri Lanka Taxa named by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque