Philippine Sambar Cervus mariannus

Measurements:
Head & Body Length- 100 to 150 cm
Shoulder height- 55 to 70 cm
Tail length- 8 to 12 cm
Weight- 40 to 60 kg

Physical Description

The Philippine Sambar is also known as the Philippine Brown Deer and as the Luzon Sambar. It is similar in appearance and habits to the other species of Sambar, and is obviously closely related to them. Some have questioned whether it should be considered as a separate species or as a subspecies of one of the other Sambar species. It has the typical Sambar appearance, having a thin slender body, long legs and a short head. However, it is smaller in size than the other Sambar species and the antlers are much shorter. The coat is a dark brown colour, the under parts are paler. The antlers of the males have 2 to 3 tines, and grow on average to between 30 and 40 cm in length.

 

Distribution

As its name would suggest this species is found in the Philippines, where it occurs on a number of islands. Amongst others it is found on the islands of Luzon, Mindoro, and Mindanao. It was probably introduced to some islands by man, to provide a source of food. Little is known about the conservation status of this species, the populations are thought to be fairly stable. They may be under threat from over hunting and from habitat loss. The growing human population of the Philippines will undoubtedly need more agricultural land in the future, and this could provide a threat.

 

Habitat

The Philippine Sambar lives on steep mountain slopes that are covered by forest and woodland. They live in clearings within the forest. They occur at altitudes up to 3000 metres.

 

Reproduction

The reproductive life of this animal is thought to be similar to that of other Sambar deer, although little is actually known. The rut takes place in the autumn. Females give birth to a single fawn after a 245 to 285 day long gestation period in the spring of the following year, normally in May or June. The fawns are suckled for about 6 months before being weaned. They reach sexual maturity from 18 months of age.

 

Behaviour

Philippine Sambar feed mostly on mountain species of grasses and herbaceous plants. They have a maximum lifespan of about 15 years. They are mostly nocturnal, and are seldom seen by man. They lead mostly solitary lives, although they may be seen in small groups occasionally. There main predator is man.