Common name – Muntjac deer

Latin name – Muntiacus reevesi

History

Named in 1812 after John Reeves of the British East India Company, Muntjac were introduced to Woburn Park, Bedfordshire by the Duke of Bedford in the early 20th century.  Some subsequently escaped – or were released – and a thriving feral population has resulted.

Geographical distribution

They are now to be found throughout mainland UK, though less so in the north and west.

Social behaviour

Muntjac are fairly solitary, living – at most – in small family groups.  Bucks are reasonably tolerant of one another, often with territories that overlap.  Whilst woodlands are the traditional habitat of Muntjac, their adaptability means they are widely dispersed within the countryside and semi-urban environments.

Management notes

Their individual browsing of herbs and shrubs does not generally cause significant environmental or crop damage, except, possibly, to newly planted trees.  Since the 1980’s they have been increasingly stalked commercially, and the quality of their venison is good and – because they are small – their challenge to the stalker is notable.  Muntjac lie down and ruminate after feeding.

Breeding season

Capable of breeding at seven months old, there is no set season for this and – with does capable of mating a few days after giving birth – the potential for rapid population growth continues.

Muntjac are also called ‘barking deer’ with their bark being loud for the size of animal and often repeated.

Shooting season – Link to tables?

Medal information – CR

Links to DSUK articles –