Philippine Spotted Deer

Philippine Spotted Deer

The Philippine Spotted Deer — also called the Visayan Spotted Deer (Rusa alfredi) or Alfred’s Deer — is an endangered species endemic to the Philippine Islands. It lives on the Visayan island chain. This deer was recognized as its own species in 1983.

On this page you’ll learn facts about the Philippine Spotted Deer including its size, what it looks like, reproductive cycle, habits and behavior and its native habitat.

How Big is the Philippine Spotted Deer?

  • Head & Body Length – 120 to 130 cm
  • Shoulder Height – 60 to 80 cm
  • Tail Length – 8 to 13 cm
  • Weight – 40 to 60 kg

What Does the Visayan Spotted Deer Look Like?

This species of deer is a small, short-legged deer. It is similar in appearance to the Sambar species of deer.

The most distinctive feature in this species are the many large rounded spots scattered over the dark brown flanks.

The under parts are paler in color. There is a white patch of fur on the chin, and the insides of the ears are also white.

The eyes of the Philippine Spotted Deer have pale colored hairs around them in a ring.

The tail is short with a white underside.

Males have short, but distinctive antlers of about 20 cm in length; these have a short brow tine.

Where Does This Deer Live?

Now let’s take a closer look at its historical and present-day range and the preferred habitat of the Philippine Spotted Deer.

Distribution & Range

Historically, you could find the Visayan Spotted Deer on a large number of islands of the Visayan chain in the central Philippines.

However, due to over-hunting it has become extinct on a number of these islands and today it can only be found on 4 of the larger islands in the Visayan chain.

It remains under threat from over hunting.

Preferred Habitat

The preferred habitat of the Philippine Spotted Deer is clearings and glades in thick, lowland tropical forest.

However, this habitat has disappeared as it was clear-cut for agricultural purposes.

Today, you can find Alfred’s Deer on thickly forested mountain slopes that are too steep to cultivate.

Mating Habits & Reproductive Cycle

The rut occurs late in the year between November and December. Males have a distinctive rutting call that is part of this deer’s mating ritual.

The young are born after an eight month gestation period in May or June.

At 6 months of age, fawns are weaned. This deer reaches maturity at 12 months.

Interesting Behavior

We don’t know much about this animal’s way of life. It has not been thoroughly studied.

This species of deer is nocturnal. Alfred’s Deer emerge at dusk to feed.

The Philippine Spotted Deer seems to be mostly solitary in its habits. They feed on a variety of different types of grasses, and have a maximum lifespan of about 15 years.

Someone will need to take conservation action to ensure this species is not hunted to extinction in the near future.

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