Spotted deer | Exploring the World of Wildlife: facts about the Spotted deer

The graceful spotted deer is a symbol of piety, solitude and natural beauty for many peoples of the world. Scientists distinguish about 15 subspecies of this animal. All males have branched antlers and their fur has a distinct spotted coloration.

Fact number one.

Spotted deer lead a quiet and measured life in the forests, with a special love for oaks and alder trees. During the warm season, reindeer tend to stick to areas with dense grass. With the onset of snow, reindeer go to the southern slopes of hills and mountains.

The area belonging to the herd is several square kilometers. Reindeer activity peaks in the morning and evening, and it’s not uncommon for reindeer to go out in the daytime in search of food.

Fact number two.

By the end of the first year of life, male spotted deer develop tubercles on their foreheads, which then turn into mighty antlers. The unshrunken antlers of the spotted deer are a very valuable pharmaceutical product, for which reason the animals were once massively exterminated. Embryos, a tail, blood, veins, a skin and meat of this kind of animals also were in demand, and as a result of such active hunting at the beginning of the 20th century the spotted deer became a rare and endangered species and was included in the Red Book.

The situation was remedied by the opening of special reindeer farms, which now supply raw materials for pharmaceutical needs. But, for example, the number of the Ussuri subspecies of spotted deer has not been recovered.

Fact number three.

Autumn is the traditional mating season for red deer. Those who had an opportunity to observe the process of the deer breeding year will agree that the show is truly fascinating: males clash in fierce fights for the attention of females by clashing their horns. It is not uncommon for one of the participants in this fight to come out with broken horns.

From October to June, the females carry the calf, which lies motionless in the tall grass for the first week of its life. Later, under the responsive control of the mother, the calf begins to explore the outside world and eat grass. With the onset of winter, the calf is weaned from its mother’s milk and gains relative independence.

Fact number four.

The spotted deer is a slender animal with a light build (body length for males reaches 2 meters, weight about 130 kg, the size of females is always more modest). Only males have antlers with four tips. The horns are up to 80 cm long and weigh about 1.3 kg. The summer coat of the spotted deer is characterized by the characteristic spotted color, the white spots are located on a reddish-red overall background, in winter the deer becomes monochromatic, dark gray.

The animal has a long thick mane on its neck and a large white spot around its tail, thanks to which the animals can easily see each other even in the densest bushes. At nighttime spotted deer can find each other by the shine of their eyes, which take on a dark orange glow in the dark.

Fact number five.

The spotted deer belongs to the group of herbivores. Its diet includes a wide variety of vegetation, as well as nuts, legumes, acorns, lichens, berries, seeds, and chestnuts. In wintertime spotted deer are notpretentious about food and are content with everything they can get from under the snow, for example, wilted leaves, needles and tree bark. In order to provide themselves with a sufficient amount of minerals, spotted deer eagerly lick salt and gnaw on soil rich in salts. The colder it is around, the more food this animal needs, so gamekeepers try to spread additional food in the forests.

Fact number six.

Wild spotted deer are secretive, shy, quiet and very cautious animals. It is very difficult to meet representatives of this species in forests, as they can smell approaching people and predators at long distances. The spotted deer is assisted in this by its excellent hearing and sense of smell. On the whole, the spotted deer is not an easy prey. It can run fast in pursuit and swim well, so it can easily hide from predators chasing it in water.

The spotted deer can cover distances of several kilometers on the water. In addition, this animal is able to jump 2.5 meters in height and up to 8 meters in length. The spotted deer lead a sedentary lifestyle in small groups, sometimes uniting into large herds. The living area of one herd is several square kilometers, which deer mark and protect its borders from all strangers.

Fact number seven.

Spotted reindeer live in small groups of 5-8 animals, uniting into larger herds for the winter. At the head of the group is always an experienced adult female stag. Pregnant females preparing to give birth and males leave the herd when horns grow. After the rut, the males band together in small herds.

Fact number eight.

Spotted deer have many natural enemies. Predators that attack them include wolves, leopards, tigers and bears. Young deer often fall prey to the yellow martens and lynxes of Ussuri. During the winter, when there is a lot of snow and in the spring, spotted deer become very weak due to poor nutrition and are often preyed upon by predators.

Fact number nine.

Not long ago, spotted deer were found in vast areas, including the northeastern provinces of China, North Vietnam, Japan, Korea, and the island of Taiwan. There are almost no spotted deer left in China, but they are found in East Asia, including the territories of the Ussuri Krai, extending to the territories of North Vietnam, as well as in some island territories. These animals, thanks to man, appeared in the territory of New Zealand.

Fact number ten.

The total number of spotted deer has decreased markedly over the last hundred years. The main reason is active hunting, although a number of other factors can be mentioned, such as: the disappearance of broad-leaved forest areas, the appearance of new human settlements in the deer habitat, the appearance of a large number of wolves and dogs, lack of food and the presence of infectious diseases. Nowadays any hunting of spotted deer is prohibited everywhere.

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