Posted 10th Nov 2017
Image courtesy of Amy Lewis
The small Muntjac Deer was initially introduced to Woburn in Bedfordshire at the start of the 20th century, originally coming from China
Now a common animal across south-east England, it's population is spreading. The male has short, unbranched antlers, along with a pair of long canine teeth. Living in woodland, parkland and sometimes even in gardens, the small deer is also known as a 'barking deer', due to their dog-like calls, which will most often be heard in the autumn.
Very small and stocky in appearance, they're roughly the size of a medium-sized dog. Uniform brown and with a pale underside, the deer has small, single-pointed antlers.
They're common sights and increasing in southern England, as they spread north.
Despite their size, the non-native Muntjac poses a problem to our woodlands, due to their habit of eating young shoots and leaves from newly-coppiced or growing trees, stripping them bare until they die.
Much of our ancient and semi-natural woodland is either gone or under threat, meaning this behaviour will be detrimental our woodland wildlife, from butterflies to bats.
Information and text courtesy of The Wildlife Trusts