Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bawean Deer

Hyelaphus kuhlii
Today's animal is the Bawean Deer, which is also sometimes referred to as the Bawean Hog Deer or Kuhl's Deer. These ungulates are found on only one small Indoneasian island, Bawean, and are at a very high conservation risk.

Hunting by both humans and predators have historically keep the Deer population low, but now habitat loss and climate change have been added to the list of dangers and the Deer are considered to be Critically Endangered.

The Bawean Deer are small and brown, with their fawns having a spotted pattern. Males also posses antlers that come in handing when fighting for mates or territory. The Deer usually live alone or in very small groups, and they use a series of barks and squeaks to communicate. These vocalizations serve many purposes, like reuniting a mother and her fawn, or as a challenge call between males. Interestingly though, they don't seem to have an alarm sound for danger-- they just quietly run away.

There are around 250 Bawean Deer left in the wild, and hunting has been outlawed since 1977. There is still hope for the species, but it will definitely be an uphill battle!

IUCN Status : Critically Endangered
Location : Bawean, Indonesia
Size : Height up to 2.3ft (70cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Cervidae -- Genus : Hyelaphus -- Species : H. kuhlii
Image : Bardrock

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