The Philippine mouse-deer is a small secretive ruminant native to the Philippines. It has a black and brown coat with white stripes on the throat and chest. Each individual hair has sections of different colors - the base is generally light (ranging from white to ashy brown), with a tawny, orange, or brown midsection, and a long black tip. The most striking markings of the Philippine mouse-deer are on the throat, with three narrow white stripes beginning from a white patch under the chin and extending down towards the chest. Towards the chest, these black and white markings disappear into a broad brown band that crosses the lower throat. The head itself is generally darker in color than the rest of the body. Its slender legs and arched back are covered by brown fur, with a white base.
Philippine mouse-deer are found in Balabac and nearby smaller islands (Bugsuk and Ramos) southwest of Palawan in the Philippines. They inhabit moist forest, shrubland, and often visit mangroves in order to feed. They have also been spotted along the seashore.
Philippine mouse-deer are solitary and nocturnal animals. However, sometimes they may occur in pairs for short periods of time. During the day, they typically take shelter in the dense primary and secondary forests and avoid movement. At sundown, they will wander into mangroves and more open areas to feed.
Philippine mouse-deer typically produce one offspring. Two young can occur but is extremely rare. The gestation period lasts from 140 to 177 days and reproductive maturity is reached at 5 months of age.
The biggest threat to the Philippine mouse-deer is habitat loss. Its native habitat is being converted to agricultural lands for coconut plantations and other crops. The Philippine mouse-deer is also threatened due to poaching and capture for the wild animal trade. Hunting has also caused a great decline in the number of individuals left. The meat is considered a delicacy on the islands, and the skin is also used to make leather.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Philippine mouse-deer total population size. However, in 2006 it was reported that at least 21 free-living individuals occur on Calauit Island. Currently, this species is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.