Muntjac Deer

Muntiacus reevesi

An introduced species to Britain, the Reeves’ muntjac (to give it it’s full name) is named after John Russell Reeves who first brought the species to Woburn Park, Befordshire from Southeast China in 1838. During the 1920s, some individuals escaped and muntjac now are now found across England and Wales. Muntjac are active throughout the day and night, with peaks of activity at dawn and dusk. They feed on bramble, ferns, ivy, grasses and tree shoots, and unfortunately have a penchant for plants with a high conservation status such as bluebells and primulas. Unlike other deer, muntjac don't have a fixed breeding season and reproduce continually throughout the year, increasing in numbers and eating almost any plant material that grows within their browse line which in turn impacts upon the natural habitat of many species of plants, insects and small birds. With no natural predators to control their numbers culls are required in order to keep the population under control and stop them doing too much damage to woodlands. With a shoulder height of only 50cm, the Reeves’ muntjac is Britain’s smallest deer. They are naturally shy and prefer to remain hidden in the cover of dense vegetation, so take a good look around their enclosure to spot them.

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