Philippine Spotted Deer Facts – Distribution, & Behavior

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What is a Philippines Spotted Deer?

The Philippine Spotted Deer or Rusa Albidula is a species of deer that is endemic to the Philippines. It is mostly found in mountain ranges and foothills, preferring moist areas with dense forest cover.

It has an average body length of 130 cm and weighs about 18 kg.

It was first documented by the American zoologist Edmund Heller, who collected two specimens in 1903.

The type specimen is now preserved at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, USA; it was collected on Mount Pulag on December 5, 1903, by Heller and his assistant William Jardine Clayton (1871-1916).

What is the Philippines Spotted Deer Size?

It has a smaller size than most deer species and is around 39 to 69 cm long with a weight of less than 18 kg.

Geographic Range

The Palawan Spotted Deer, also known as the Southern Palawan Spotted Deer or Philippine Spotted Deer, is a subspecies of the Sambar. It is endemic to the Philippines and found in several provinces.

The Philippine Spotted Deer is primarily found in the Cordilleras highlands on Luzon, on Mount Apo on Mindanao, and in some areas of Samar.

It also inhabits lowland forests from northern Luzon across to Palawan, on Borneo, and in some areas of Java. In 2015, a specimen was recorded for the first time from Sulawesi Island’s northeast region.

Conservation Status

They are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are classified as near threatened by the National Red List of Endangered Species in the Philippines.

Philippines Spotted Deer Habitat

Philippines Spotted Deer Habitat

The habitat of spotted deer is mountainous and consists of forests that are generally below 3,000 feet. The habitat is mostly covered with bamboo, grasses, and stunted trees.

The terrain can be rocky or mostly flat. Spotted deer live in the Philippines in protected habitats like the National Park of Mount Apo.

Philippines Spotted Deer Physical Description

Philippine Spotted Deer is the only endemic species of deer in the Philippines and is considered to be one of the rarest mammals in Southeast Asia.

The Philippine Spotted Deer is a large animal, measuring up to 1.7 meters (5.6 feet) from shoulder to tail and weighing up to 120 kilograms (265 pounds).

It has short, brownish-gray fur with a distinctive pattern of white spots on its back that looks like a leopard’s coat.

Visayan Spotted Deer Reproduction -Breeding

The Visayan spotted deer has a very short mating season, which lasts only 3-4 days. The males will actively search for females during this time.

The Visayan Spotted Deer has a gestation period of 7 months and gives birth to 1-2 offspring per year.

They usually mate in late November and December when they can be found in groups during this time of year, though they are solitary at other times, especially when the mating season has passed.

How long does the Philippines spot deer live?

The Philippine Spotted Deer (Rusa Philippinensis) is found only in the Philippines and lives an average of 8-15 years. It’s an animal that’s not as well known as other mammals, but it’s still a very interesting creature to know about.

Ecosystem Roles

The benefits of having deer around us are very diverse. Deer help maintains forest health by grazing on trees and plants, thus preventing them from getting out of control.

Deer also maintain balance in the ecosystem by being both prey for carnivores and predators themselves. Additionally, they can be used in conservation efforts by providing an economic incentive to prevent the exploitation of endangered animals for trade or hunting purposes.

Philippines Spotted Deer Population

Due to habitat loss and hunting, the Philippine Spotted Deer has an estimated population size of 1500-3000 individuals.

Food Habits

The Philippine deer is primarily a browser that mainly feeds on grasses, shrubs, herbs, leaves, flowers, and fruits

Anti-predator Adaptations

Anti-predator Adaptations

The Philippine spotted deer is a prey animal that has evolved to be much more effective in avoiding predation. The deer have developed a variety of anti-predator adaptations, many of which are only found in the Philippine spotted deer. These adaptations include:

-A sharp sense of smell that can detect predators from far away and tell them to flee.

-Smaller and rounder ears and feet than other members of the family so they blend in with their environment.

-Sharp teeth can produce a bite force up to three times greater than other ungulates, making them capable of delivering a powerful bite that can injure or kill predators such as dogs, pythons, leopards, and birds.


Why is the Philippine spotted deer endangered?

The deer has been hunted for its meat throughout history by both humans and other animals. They have been hunted so much in fact, that they are now endangered in the Philippines.
In addition to being hunted for their meat, the deer have been killed by farmers who fear that their crops will be eaten in the night if they allow this animal to roam free on their property. Farmers may also set traps to catch or kill them when they come down from the hills looking for food during droughts. These desperate creatures die from starvation or being caught.

How many Philippine spotted deers are left?

The population is estimated to be less than 3,000 individuals with about 1,500 among them being males.

Where do philippines spotted deer sleep?

Philippine spotted deer are nocturnal animals and can be seen during the day if disturbed. They usually do not come out during the day as they fear predators such as tigers, humans, or other large mammals such as wild pigs or carabaos. They usually sleep by themselves in groups of 2-5 individuals with one dominant male. The dominant male usually wakes up at night to look for food while a subordinate male will stay by his side to watch over him and any females that may be sick or injured. Females usually prefer sleeping close to a tree trunk while males tend.

What plants do philippines spotted deer avoid?

These types of deer tend to avoid plants like Casuarina trees, coffee trees, reeds and bamboo forests because they don’t like their taste or texture.
According to research, deer will avoid eating leaves that are near monkey droppings, snake tracks, or deer feces.

Can philippines spotted deer swim?

Philippine spotted deer do swim in the water.
They are very agile swimmers, and can even jump into water when they need to avoid predators. They keep their head above the water when they swim too, so it doesn’t become submerged in.

İs philippines spotted deer aggressive?

The Philippine Spotted Deer is a timid animal, and it is rare to see them attacking a human. The most they will do when approached by humans is run away from them. They are only aggressive when they feel their young are threatened from predators such as dogs or pigs.

How high can philippines spotted deer jump?

A Philippine spotted deer can jump as high as 3.5 feet from a standing position and up to 10 feet from an all-fours stance.

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