We all know that deer are one of the most common mammals in Australia, but there are actually six different types of deer that can be found in the country.
In this article, we will go over the different types of deer in Australia
1. Sambar Deer
The Sambar deer is a large deer native to the Indian subcontinent, southern China and Southeast Asia. The Sambar deer is a member of the family Cervidae and genera Rusa. This deer species was first described by German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller in 1746.
The Sambar deer is the largest Asian deer species. Males reach a shoulder height of about 1.2 m (4 ft), while females reach a height of around 0.9 m (3 ft). Males typically weigh around 150 kg (330 lb), but have been known to reach weights of up to 300 kg (660 lb).
Females typically weigh 100-120 kg (220-260 lb).
The coat of the Sambar deer is brown or reddish-brown in color, with some individuals having darker coats. The belly, rump and inside of the legs are generally lighter in color than the rest of the body.
There are also white spots on the throat and chest. Male Sambar deer have antlers that can grow up to 1 m (3 ft) in length. These antlers are generally triangular in shape and have three tines. Females generally do not have antlers, but some may grow very small stubs.
The Sambar deer is a herbivore and feeds on a variety of plants and leaves. This deer species is known to eat over 50 types of plants. Sambar deer are generally nocturnal animals, but may be active during the day in areas where they feel safe from predators.
These animals generally live in forested areas, but can also be found in grasslands and scrublands. The Sambar deer has a wide range across Asia, and is considered to be common in most parts of its range.
2. Fallow Deer
The fallow deer is a medium-sized deer that is native to Europe, Asia Minor, and the Middle East. The fallow deer has a coat of brown fur that turns grey in the winter. The males have antlers that are simple and forked. The fallow deer is a herbivore and feeds on leaves, grasses, and fruits.
The fallow deer is a popular game animal and is hunted for its meat and antlers. The fallow deer is also farmed for its hide and velvet.
The fallow deer was introduced to Australia in the 19th century and now inhabits forested areas of the country.
The fallow deer is a timid creature and is usually found in small herds. When threatened, the fallow deer will flee rather than fight. If cornered, the fallow deer will use its antlers to defend itself.
3. Red Deer
The red deer is the largest of the six deer species found in Australia. It is a native of Europe, Asia and North Africa, but was introduced to Australia in the 19th century.
The red deer is a herbivore and feeds on grasses, herbs, shrubs and trees. It is a browser rather than a grazer. The red deer is reddish-brown in colour with a light cream underbelly. Males (stags) have antlers which they shed each year and grow back again. Females (hinds) do not have antlers.
Red deer live in herds of up to 100 individuals.
The red deer is the largest of the six deer species found in Australia. It was introduced to Australia in the 19th century from Europe, Asia and North Africa.
The red deer is a herbivore and feeds primarily on grasses, herbs, shrubs and trees. It is classified as a browser rather than a grazer. The red deer gets its name from its reddish-brown colouration; it has a light cream underbelly.
Male red deer (stags) grow antlers each year which they shed before growing new ones; females (hinds) do not have antlers. Red deer live together in herds of around 100 individuals.
4. Rusa Deer
Rusa deer are the largest type of deer in Australia, and they are a subspecies of red deer. These animals are usually brown or reddish-brown in color, and they have white spots on their backs and sides.
Males also have antlers that can grow up to 1.2 meters long! Rusa deer can be found in woodlands and forests across Australia, and they typically eat grasses, leaves, and twigs.
These deer are shy and elusive creatures, but they are also very curious. If you’re ever lucky enough to spot a rusa deer in the wild, you’ll likely see it cautiously sniffing around before quickly darting away into the safety of the trees.
Despite their timid nature, rusa deer are actually quite strong and they can reach speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour!
If you’re interested in seeing these magnificent creatures up close, there are a few places in Australia where you can find them. The Australian Reptile Park in New South Wales is home to a small herd of rusa deer, and visitors can even feed them by hand!
5. Axis Or Chital Deer
The axis or chital deer is a beautiful and elegant creature that is native to the Indian subcontinent. This deer is easily recognizable by its distinctive white spots which are set against its reddish-brown coat. The axis deer is an important animal in Hindu mythology and is often depicted in art and literature.
The axis deer is a herbivore and feeds mainly on grasses, leaves, and fruits. In the wild, these animals typically live for around 10 years but can live for up to 20 years in captivity.
Males usually weigh between 60 and 70 kg (130-155 lb) while females weigh between 50 and 60 kg (110-130 lb).
The axis deer is classified as being vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The main threats to this species are habitat loss and hunting. The axis deer is hunted for its meat and antlers, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
6. Hog Deer
Hog deer are a type of deer that is found in Australia. These animals are similar in appearance to pigs, hence their name. Hog deer are brown or reddish-brown in color and have a white belly.
They also have a mane of long hair running down their back. These deer are relatively small, with males being about 2.5 feet tall at the shoulder and females being about 2 feet tall. Males also weigh about 50 pounds, while females weigh about 40 pounds.
Hog deer are found in wooded areas and forest edges throughout Australia. They are most active at night, but can also be seen during the day.
These animals are shy and secretive, so they are not often seen by humans. Hog deer primarily eat leaves, grasses, and other plants. They will also eat some fruit and insects if they are available.
Hog deer are not considered to be a threat to humans and are not known to attack people. However, they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered. If you see a hog deer, it is best to give it plenty of space and not try to approach it.
As we have seen, there are six different types of deer in Australia. Each one has its own unique set of characteristics that set it apart from the others. Sambar deer are the largest of the bunch, while hog deer are the smallest.
Fallow deer are the only ones with antlers, while red deer are the only ones with stripes. Rusa deer are the only ones that can swim, while axis deer are the only ones that can jump really high.