The Swamp Deer

(Rucervusduvaucelii)

 

Size:

up to about 50 inches and 80lbs

Lifespan:

20 - 30 years

Population:

Under 5000 and declining

Family life and  Breeding:

Herds can be comprised of about 8-20 individuals

Habitat:

Grasslands and wetlands

How do they  move:

Roam through grass and wetlands in herds

What do they eat:

Grass and leaves

Closest relatives:

 

Other deer, like the spotted deer of India

Tie to humans:

 

They are food for big animals like the tiger.  Who doesn’t love tigers?

photo M & G Therin-Weise

Cool fact:

The name Rucervusduvaucelii is derived from a Hindi word meaning 12 tined.  This name highlights one of the most striking characteristics about this animal.  The swamp deer also has a thick coat of brown fur that helps this remarkable deer stay warm in the coolest and wettest conditions of India.

Conservation status:

They are threatened by hunting and they are losing their wetland and grassland habitats with the growth of cities and human population.  They also get the same diseases that domestic cows have, and the cows can make them very sick if they are in close contact with them.  There are less than 5000 swamp deer left in the world today

What is being done now?

The largest population of swamp deer in India can be found at Kaziranga National Wildlife Park in Assam, India.  The swamp deer is also thriving in Manas National Wildlife Park.  These deer are protected as an endangered species.

What should be done in the future?

More land should be set aside for the swamp deer, both wetlands and grasslands should be preserved because this is where the swamp deer lives.

 

Content provided by Canisius College students under the direction of Michael Noonan, PhD.