Animal Info - Visayan Spotted Deer

(Other Names: Alfred's Sambar, Philippine Spotted Deer, Prince Alfred's Spotted Deer, Prince Alfred's Rusa, Prinz-Alfred-Hirsch,Visayan Deer)

Cervus alfredi (C. unicolor a., Rusa alfredi)

Status: Endangered


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, Population Estimates, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Size, Habitat, Gestation Period,)
5. References


Profile

Pictures: Visayan Spotted Deer #1 (15 Kb JPEG); Visayan Spotted Deer #2 (78 Kb JPEG) (Czech Web Site)

The Visayan spotted deer is a small deer not much larger than some dogs, being about 80 cm (2.6') tall at the shoulder. It is found in forests, preferring areas where natural disturbances such as fires or landslides opened the forest canopy and allowed young plants to grow in the clearing. It was formerly found from sea level to the mountaintops.

The Visayan spotted deer formerly occurred throughout the dense tropical forests of the Visayan Islands. A survey in 1985 indicated that small populations were found only in parts of the more remote forested regions of the four largest Visayan Islands - Panay, Negros, Leyte and Samar. A subsequent survey in 1991 found that it survived in small populations only on Panay and Negros and thus has been extirpated over 95% of its former range.

The decline of the Visayan spotted deer is due to hunting pressure as well as habitat loss due to clearing for agriculture and bad practices from legitimate logging operations.


Tidbits

*** The Visayan spotted deer is one of the world's rarest mammals.

*** The Visayan spotted deer was not recognized as a separate species until 1983.

*** The range of the Visayan spotted deer is essentially the same as that of the endangered Visayan warty pig, which is subjected to the same threats.

*** Much of the destruction of the forests of the Visayan Islands, which are home to this deer, may be attributed to landless peasants and indigenous tribal groups who moved into these areas to clear temporary agricultural plots, especially after lumber concessions were terminated and the sugar industry became depressed. These plots are known as kaingin, and their soil is rapidly exhausted and new plots must be cleared every few years. Tropical storms wash the sparse topsoil off of the bare hillsides into the sea (NFEFI 1998).


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where the Visayan Spotted Deer Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in the Philippines (Visayan Islands) (IUCN 2004).

Population Estimates:

[Note: Figures given are for wild populations only.]

History of Distribution:

The Visayan spotted deer formerly occurred throughout the dense tropical forests of the Visayan Islands. A survey in 1985 indicated that small populations were found only in parts of the more remote forested regions of the four largest Visayan Islands - Panay, Negros, Leyte and Samar. A subsequent survey in 1991 found that it survives in small populations only on Panay and Negros and thus has been extirpated over 95% of its former range.

Distribution Map #1 (7 Kb GIF) (Huffman 2004)
Distribution Map #2 (27 Kb JPEG) (Spec. Cons. Found.)

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Hunting pressure as well as habitat loss due to clearing for agriculture and bad practices from legitimate logging operations (only a few percent of the original primary forest remains on Negros Island (NFEFI 1998).


Data on Biology and Ecology

Size:

About 80 cm (2.6') tall at the shoulder.

Habitat:

The Visayan spotted deer is found in forests, preferring areas where natural disturbances such as fires or landslides opened the forest canopy and allowed young plants to grow in the clearing. It was formerly found from sea level to the mountaintops.

The Visayan spotted deer lives in both the Philippines Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl. 2005) and the Philippines Moist Forests Global 200 Ecoregion (Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999).

Gestation Period:

240 days.


References

Burton & Pearson 1987, Cons. Intl. 2005, Cox 1987, Czech Web Site, Heaney and Regalado 1998, Huffman 2004, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Macdonald 1984, NFEFI 1998, Nowak 1999, Oliver et al. 1991, Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999, Spec. Cons. Found.


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Last modified: May 31, 2005;

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