Deer might not be an animal that jumps to mind when talking about wildlife in Vietnam, but the country is home to more than one kind. Unfortunately, these creatures have been overhunted, so they aren’t as present as they once were.
Additionally, much of their natural habitats have been destroyed for resources. From species like the Silka to the smaller Mouse Deer, here’s a look at the types of deer found in Vietnam.
Vietnamese Sika Deer
Also known as the “Indochinese Sika Deer,” the Vietnamese Sika Deer is one of many sub-types of Sika Deer that was formally found in northern regions of Vietnam and near southern China. These deer are thought to be extinct in the wild due to overhunting and their habitat getting destroyed.
Their antlers are used for traditional Chinese medicine, which contributes to their decreasing numbers. A characteristic of these animals that makes them unique is their white behinds, which can become highly fluffy to alert other herd members when threatened.
Pu Hoat Muntjac
Pu Hoat Muntjac are only recorded to live in Vietnam’s Pu Hoat region, near the Laos border. This is a newly discovered species of deer, only been recorded since 1997.
Sometimes referred to as the “Large-Antlered Muntjac,” the Giant Muntjac is a relatively new species first discovered in 1994 in Vũ Quang, Hà Tĩnh Province of Vietnam. It has also been recorded in Laos, Cambodia, and the Trường Sơn Mountains. Belonging to the Cervidae family, the Giant Muntjac can reach between 66 and 110 pounds in adulthood.
Giant Muntjacs are considered endangered due to their decreasing population, partly caused by “slash and burn” agriculture. Their natural habitat is evergreen forests, so you will only likely see one in mountainous regions.
The Recently Discovered Mouse-Deer
The elusive Vietnamese Mouse-Deer, also known as the “Silverback Chevrotain,” is only known to live in a small portion of Vietnam in the Gia Lai Province. It was first discovered in the early 1900s and wasn’t seen again until 1990 before disappearing from records again until 2019.
Researchers were worried that the species went extinct, and it was on a shortlist of animals being looked for by the Global Wildlife Conservation group. The numbers of these animals have gone down quite a bit due to hunting and deforestation.
The entire deer is reported to only be a length of 19 inches in adulthood, its small size contributing to its name “mouse-deer.” The species’ features include a two-tone red and rough grey coat.
Even though there is more than one type of deer in Vietnam, they may be hard to spot in the wild unless you plan on spending a lot of time looking for them.