Friday, 28 November 2014

Day 27 - Marvelous Muntjacs

Hi all Day 27 today and I have some close encounters with some marvellous muntjacs for you today. I was at my favourite holiday park called Kelling Heath which is basically a caravan park built inside a giant forest and almost all of the forest is still there so it's a great place for wildlife spotters that want a trip to Norfolk. One of the best things there, if not the best things, are the deer and to see one right outside the caravan where you are staying is pretty special. Here is a picture of the muntjac I saw:
Muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi)

He is a really lovely creature and I love to share this sort of thing with you. Anyway here is a couple of facts for you about muntjac deers:

  • Muntjac don't breed once a year at a fixed season (rutting season) like other deer but throughout the year.
  • Females have usually just one baby and are ready to mate again if the opportunity arises.
  • Muntjac usually live to around 10 years of age but can live up to 16 for males and 19 for females though this is unusual.
  • They are 'crepuscular' which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. 
  • They like to live in deciduous and coniferous woods with dense undergrowth, ferns etc and are hard to spot because they are so small - though people have reported seeing them in their gardens and even walking along roads! 

  • We saw this little fella at Kelling Heath - he came right up to the decking to eat some fruit! And we could often hear their barking during the night.
  • Their diet is made up of leaves, berries, fungi, bark and herbs. Because they strip bark and leaves from low area some people consider them a pest :-(
  • Their numbers are unfortunately decreasing - and that's down to us. Hunting for their meat and fur has unfortunately  become popular to some people, and others are killed by cars. Muntjacs are found all around the world and their other predators include crocodiles, leopards and tigers (not in this country though!)
  • If they are alarmed their tails will stand up and males will scream whereas females and young will squeak. 

Gorgeous little creatures it's always a huge treat when we see one at Kelling Heath and talk about it for days

Here's a few links for more information about these lovely deer.

British Deer Society - Muntjac

BBC - Muntjac

The Deer Initiative - Muntjac

Hope you enjoy.


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