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An Ultimate Ungulate Fact Sheet
Axis kuhlii
Bawean deer
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Common name:
Scientific name:
Other names:
Bawean deer
Axis kuhlii
Kuhl's deer, Bawean hog deer, Cerf-conchon de l'ile Bawean, Cerf de Bawean, Kuhhirsch, Bawean-Schweinshirsch, Bawean Hirsch, Ciervo de Kuhl, Ciervo porquerizo de Kuhl, Menjangan Bawean, Rusa bawean, Uncal Bawean.

Physical Characteristics

Head and body length: 140 cm
Shoulder height: 65-70 cm
Tail length: 20 cm
Adult weight: 50-60 kg

Bawean deer are medium-brown in color, with hairs banded with yellow giving the coat a grizzled appearance at close range. There is a light 'bib' on the top of the throat and the eye is surrounded by a ring of lighter hair. The lips are lighter than the face, and this coloration is accentuated by a dark band which runs from the corners of the mouth towards the nose. The legs are quite short, and (when standing normally) the body slopes from the rump towards the shoulders. Adult males can be identified by the presence of antlers: each antler has three prongs and may grow 25-47 cm long.

Similar species
  • Easily identifiable based on range in the wild, the Bawean deer closely resembles the two other members of the subgenus Hyelaphus: the Calamian deer (Axis calamianensis) and the hog deer (Axis porcinus). The Bawean deer can be considered to be a smaller version of the hog deer, with shorter legs, a shorter face, and in males shorter antlers; this species tends to be darker in color than the Calamian deer.

Reproduction and Development

Gestation period: 225-230 days.
Litter size: 1, twins are very rare.

Most Bawean deer are born between February and June. The babies have spotted coats, which fade as they get older. Males begin growing antlers at one year old.

Ecology and Behavior

Bawean deer are mostly nocturnal. During the day they rest in dense forest, and emerge into clearings around dusk using well-trodden trails. Such clearings are the center of social activity, with courting, challenging, fighting, and mating all occurring outside of the dense forest. Although this species is solitary, they are highly vocal with one another. Sharp bark-like sounds are used to help a mother locate her offspring, and may also be used if a pair of deer become separated. Males will also bark to challenge each other, usually stomping their feet while doing so. This species does not have an alarm call, and responds to a threat by creeping away quietly in an attempt to go undetected.
Family group: Usually solitary.
Diet: Grasses (especially young lalang grass) and leaves.
Main Predators: Large pythons and feral domestic dogs; wild pigs and macaques may prey upon youngsters.

Habitat and Distribution

Bawean deer are only found on the small Indonesian island of Bawean, located between Borneo and Java. Their preferred habitat is secondary forest with dense undergrowth and intermittent grassy clearings. The approximate range is depicted in the map below.

Range Map
(Redrawn from Blouch and Atmosoedirdjo, 1987)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List: Critically endangered (2008).
CITES Listing: Appendix I (2009).
Threats: Habitat loss due to logging and agriculture, depredation by feral dogs.

The estimated total population is about 250 individuals.

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