Tufted deer

The tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus) is a small species of deer native to parts of East Asia. Here’s a description of the tufted deer and its distribution:

Description of Tufted Deer:

  • Appearance: Tufted deer are small to medium-sized deer with distinctive physical features. They have a dark brown or grayish-brown coat with lighter underparts. The most striking feature of the tufted deer is the prominent tuft of black hair on its forehead, which gives the species its name. Both males and females have short, unbranched antlers, though the antlers of males are typically larger and more robust.
  • Size: Adult tufted deer typically measure around 60 to 75 centimeters (24 to 30 inches) at the shoulder and weigh between 18 to 30 kilograms (40 to 66 pounds). Males are slightly larger than females.
  • Behavior: Tufted deer are primarily crepuscular and nocturnal, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk and throughout the night. They are generally shy and elusive animals, preferring dense forests and rugged terrain for cover.
  • Habitat: Tufted deer inhabit a variety of forested habitats, including temperate and subtropical forests, mountainous regions, and bamboo thickets. They are typically found in areas with dense vegetation and ample cover, where they can browse on a variety of plant species.
  • Diet: Tufted deer are herbivores and primarily feed on a diet of leaves, twigs, fruits, and grasses. They are known to be selective feeders, choosing the most nutritious plant species available in their habitat.
  • Reproduction: Breeding in tufted deer typically occurs in the fall, with females giving birth to a single fawn after a gestation period of around six to seven months. The fawn remains hidden in dense vegetation for the first few weeks of life, relying on its camouflage and the protection of its mother.
  • Conservation Status: The tufted deer is currently classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While they face threats such as habitat loss, fragmentation, and hunting pressure in some areas, tufted deer populations remain relatively stable throughout their range.


  • Tufted deer are native to parts of East Asia, including China, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, and possibly Laos.
  • Within their range, tufted deer are found in various forested habitats, including temperate forests in northeastern China, subtropical forests in central and southern China, and mountainous regions in the eastern Himalayas.
  • They are typically found at elevations ranging from sea level to over 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) above sea level, depending on the specific habitat and geographic location.

Tufted deer are fascinating and elusive creatures that play an important role in their forest ecosystems. Efforts to conserve their habitat and protect them from threats such as habitat loss and hunting are essential for ensuring their continued survival in the wild.

Tufted deer in Zoos

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