Shoulder height: 45-52cm
Average lifespan: 10-13 years
When to seeJanuary to December
AboutThe small, Chinese muntjac deer was introduced to Woburn Park in Bedfordshire at the start of the 20th century and rapidly spread into the surrounding area. It is now a common animal across South East England and can be found in woodland, parkland and even gardens. Muntjac deer are notorious browsers, eating the shoots from shrubs, as well as woodland herbs and Brambles. Male Muntjacs have short, unbranched antlers that slope backwards, and a pair of long canine teeth. They breed all year-round, but females usually only have one kid at a time. Muntjac deer are also known as 'barking deer' because of their dog-like calls.
How to identifyA very small, stocky deer, the muntjac deer is about the same size as a medium dog. It is gingery-brown, with a pale underside, darker stripes in its face, and small, single-pointed antlers.
In our area
Muntjac deer have spread rapidly across Shropshire; their small stature allowing them to move around without being spotted too often. First recorded in the south of the county 20 years ago, they are recorded in woodlands in the Oswestry Hills, around The Stiperstones and as far north as Market Drayton. It is likely that the Muntjac in Shropshire have escaped from local estates, though it is possible that they have travelled here undetected from their strongholds in the southeast.