Muntjac Deer – Muntiacus reevesi
Small dog sized deer. Red/brown coat in summer, darker brown in winter. Only one or two are seen together. Dark rump with conspicuous white underside of tail that is seen when held vertical when alarmed. Antlers of mature male small single spikes pointing backwards. Males have distinctive tusks (upper canine teeth) that protrude just below the lip.
Download your printable field sign guide here!
Footprints: Muntjac have the smallest footprints of all deer species. They are 2cm in width and 3-4cm in length.
Droppings: Deer droppings do not have obvious coloration or smell. The droppings tend to be of a similar shape across all species, although muntjac droppings are the smallest of all species.
Tail: The muntjac has a dark rump with a short tail with no stripes. It holds its tail up when alarmed, showing a white underside.
Chinese water deer (Hydropotes inermis)
Tail stumpy, never held upright as in muntjac (which holds it up to show the white underside when alarmed). No antlers in male, only long curved ‘tusks’ (upper canine teeth) protruding to around 7cm below lip. Muntjac male will also have protruding canine tusks, but are much shorter (around 2cm below lip) and will also usually have short, single spike, backward-pointing antlers. It is often said that the chinese water deer face looks like a teddy bear. Muntjac has two vertical stripes down the face, on the inside of each eye.
Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)
Cream/white rump (oval shaped in males and upside down heart shape in females). No visible tail. Muntjac’s rump is same colour as rest of coat, but underside of tail is white, which is held upright when alarmed.Roe does not have any tusks (protruding upper canine teeth) whilst muntjac does. Roe has small pointed antlers, with no more than 3 points. Muntjac has single-spiked, backwards-pointing antlers which are not branched. Roe has distinctive black nose and white chin. Muntjac has two vertical stripes down the face, on the inside of each eye.