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Sika Deer

Cervus Nippon

Class: Mammalia Order: Artiodactyla Family: Cervidae

Size

Weight (Males): 88-240 lbs
Weight (Females): 66-110 lbs

Lifespan

15-18 years

Diet

Sika deer are grazers and usually feed on grasses and other plants

Habitat & Range

Sika deer are native to the temprate forests of eastern Asia, and are they most abundant in Japan. This species has also been introduced to other locations such as New Zealand and Europe.

Interesting Facts

  • They are one of the few species of deer that have spots as adults. The pattern of their spots and the color of their coat vary by region. They can range from mahogany brown to black and sometimes white.
  • Male sika deer are very territorial especially during their “Rut” or mating season. Males mark their territory by urinating in a “scrape” (shallow pit). The musky odor wards off other males.
  • Male sika deer have antlers than can be from 11-30 inches in length. Females do not have antlers, but do have black bumps where they would be.
  • In the city of Nara, Japan they are also called “Bowing Deer”. The sika deer in Nara have learned to bow their heads for food. There are many vendors in this city that sell biscuits for visitors to feed the deer.

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Threats

While considered least concern, they are less common in certain parts of their range. Threats to this species include loss of habitat, hunting, and invasive species.