Posts Tagged ‘deer’

The muntjac again

May 10, 2016

We like to keep a watch on local wildlife and once again our curator found a muntjac deer sampling the tasty plants in his garden. This wasn’t long ago – just last month – but the primroses were clearly in bloom and seemed to be of no interest to the deer.

A muntjac in Market Lavington - April 2016

A muntjac in Market Lavington – April 2016

Compared with other deer, the muntjac is a bit lacking in elegant grace. Roe deer get away with being a garden menace because of that beauty. By and large people don’t like the muntjac. But really he is quite a handsome fellow and what a pleasure to see such animals, gently browsing the shrubs in the garden. They were, of course, introduced into this country and have escaped into the wild. They are not a native species. Their homeland is in South Asia. However they are now well established and seem to be thriving as a species.

Muntjac Alert?

October 31, 2012

For many of us it would be a wonderful moment, if a deer chose our garden for a morning forage. By tradition, deer are delicate, graceful animals and a wonderful sight to see. We commented on a roe deer in our curator’s garden back in the spring – click here to see it.

Somehow, the muntjac does not quite excite the same emotions. This particular beast is regarded as a rather unattractive member of the deer family, with a huge ability to cause damage to our threatened woodland. The British Deer Society actually think that muntjac don’t do much damage, suggesting their worst economic impact is by collision with cars.

One reason for the disfavour shown to the muntjac is that it is a comparatively recent intruder. The deer is native to South Asia and it is believed that the present population – widespread through most of England, descends from animals which escaped or were released from Woburn in 1925.

But the main problem for the poor animal is that it just isn’t as pretty as other deer – or most people think that.

Take a look at this buck which wandered through our curator’s garden yesterday.

A muntjac deer in Market Lavington.

We know it’s a buck because it has little antlers. This was a hurried photo with the first camera that came to hand, but the deer showed no inclination to leave so Rog was able to get a different cammera which could gather more light and had a bit more zoom.

A closer view of the same deer showing antlers and tusks

We can see the little antlers and as our muntjac feeds on fallen leaves, we can see the fang like canine tooth as well. In fact the head has something of the carnivore about it. Muntjac are not carnivores.

Our curator is pleased to have another photo for the wildlife album which is building up a photographic record of Lavington plants and animals of the 21st century.

And it seems we should learn to love the muntjac – a much maligned species.