Rusa Deer

Rusa Deer

Javan rusa, Sunda sambar

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Subfamily
Genus
SPECIES
Rusa timorensis
Population size
below 10,000
Life Span
15-20 yrs
WEIGHT
74-160 kg
LENGTH
142-185 cm

Rusa deer are distinguished by their large ears, the light tufts of hair above the eyebrows, and antlers that appear large relative to the body size. Their coat is grayish-brown and often appears coarse. Unlike most other deer species, newborn fawns do not bear spots. The antlers of these deer are lyre-shaped and three-tined. Male Rusa deer are bigger than females.

Video

Distribution

Rusa deer are native to the islands of Java, Bali, and Timor in Indonesia. They have been introduced to Irian Jaya, Borneo (Kalimantan), the Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku, Sulawesi, Pohnpei, Mauritius, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, the Christmas Islands, the Cocos Islands, Nauru, Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, New Britain, and New Ireland. Rusa deer inhabit open dry and mixed deciduous forests, parklands, savannas, mountains, shrublands, and marshes.

Rusa Deer habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Rusa deer are active mostly in the early morning and late afternoon. They are rarely seen in the open and are very difficult to approach due to their keen senses and cautious instincts. These deer are very sociable, and individuals are rarely found alone. Males and females live separately most of the year and come together only during the mating season. When alarmed, the male produces an extremely loud honk. This is an alarm call and alerts any other deer in the vicinity.

Group name
Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Rusa deer are herbivorous animals. They mainly feed on grass, leaves, and fallen fruit. These deer do not drink water, receiving all required fluid from their food.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
July, August
PREGNANCY DURATION
8 months
BABY CARRYING
1-2 fawns
INDEPENDENT AGE
6-8 months
FEMALE NAME
doe
MALE NAME
buck, stag
BABY NAME
fawn

Rusa deer are polygynous which means that males mate with more than one females during each breeding season. They breed in July and August. During this time, males decorate their antlers with grass and twigs to attract females and intimidate competitors. Males become very vocal and contest by calling in a loud, shrill bark and dueling with the antlers. The female gives birth to one or two fawns after a gestation period of 8 months, at the start of spring. Fawns stay with their mother and are weaned at 6-8 months after birth. They reach reproductive maturity at 3-5 years, depending on habitat conditions.

Population

Population threats

Rusa deer are threatened by habitat destruction, illegal hunting and also by expansion of agriculture on Java. These deer are poached with guns, snares, and dogs. Ruse deer are hunted in their native range for meat, medicinal products, handicrafts products, and, locally, pets.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total native population size of Rusa deer is fewer than 10,000 mature individuals. There are estimated populations of this species outside its native range: New Caledonia - 120,000 deer; Mauritius - 60,000 deer; Wasur National Park, Indonesia - over 8,000 deer; New South Wales, Australia - 5,000 to 10,000 deer; Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland - less than 100 deer. Currently, Rusa deer are classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List and their numbers today are decreasing.

References

1. Rusa Deer on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javan_rusa
2. Rusa Deer on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/41789/22156866

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