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Michie’s Tufted Deer

Scientific Name: Elaphodus cephalophus michianus

Michie’s tufted deer are a subspecies of tufted deer native to a small area of south-eastern China. They are a small deer species and the males have prominent, tusk-like, canines in the upper jaw. Their coat is brown on the back and pale on their underside with a bright white flash of fur under their tail. All tufted deer have a tuft of fur on the top of the head that can hide the presence of the males’ simple antlers.

Michie’s tufted deer are most active at dawn and dusk and they are a solitary species. Males will aggressively defend their territories using their tusks as a weapon.

The mating season for tufted deer is late autumn and winter. During this time the male will bark loudly to attract the attention of nearby females. Fawns are born in the summer and can stand quickly after birth. They will stay with their mother for at least six months becoming sexually mature at 18-24 months old.

Michie’s tufted deer eat most types of vegetation, including grasses, leaves, twigs and fruit. They do not have incisors (front teeth) in their upper jaw, so they clip leaves and grasses by pressing their lower incisors to a tough pad which replaces those top teeth.

The IUCN classify tufted deer as Near Threatened. The main threat facing this species is hunting.

Key Facts:

  • Conservation Status: Near Threatened
  • Distribution: China
  • Habitat: Tropical Forest
  • Diet: Fruit, Grasses, Leaves
  • Height: 50 – 70cm
  • Weight: 17 – 50kg
  • Gestation: 210 days
  • No. of young: 1 – 2
  • Life Span: 15 years