Cervus mariannus

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Philippine deer


Kingdom Animalia -- animals

Phylum Chordata -- chordates
Class Mammalia -- mammals
Order Artiodactyla -- cloven-hoofed ungulates
Family Cervidae -- caribou, cervids, deer, moose, wapati
Species Cervus mariannus

Taxonomic Serial Number


Common Names

Philippine deer

Philippine brown deer

Philippine sambar

Native Distribution

Southeast Asia

Description and Basic Biology

Cervus have a coarse coat of short, dark hair with lighter brown to creamy white hair on their undersides. The ventral and dorsal tail is white. Males are generally larger than females and possess a dense mane on their necks. Male deer have antlers with three or four tines, and these antlers are shed and replaced throughout the year. Males are solitary and very aggressive during the rut, while females may be found in groups of up to eight individuals. Their mating system is polygynous. There is no specific breeding season, but breeding most commonly occurs from September through January. One fawn is born at a time. At birth, Cervus have brown hair with lighter spots, which are lost within a few weeks. Philippine deer are nocturnal or crepuscular, resting during the day in heavy forest cover. They generally browse leaves, berries, grasses, bark from young trees, fallen fruit, herbs and buds. They browse mainly at clearings and forest edges.

Environmental Impacts

Extensive overbrowsing by deer has changed the composition of native forests as deer eat seedlings and young trees. Introduced plant species have expanded in their presence on Guam at the expense of the island’s native flora. Trails created by ungulates facilitate the spread of non-native, invasive plant species. Burning of grasses is also related to Cervus, as fires are lit to attract them as game for hunting. These fires cause loss of native forest, as well as topsoil runoff, which in turn damages the coral reef.

Economic Impacts

C. mariannus browse farmers’ crops, creating losses in revenue.

Method(s) of Introduction

Cervus was introduced by the Spanish in the 18th Century as a food source.

Known Controls

Deer control is accomplished through hunting, but limiting the take and the season reduce the control’s effectiveness. Restricted access to military installations, where deer are most prevalent, also reduces efficacy. Deer may also be controlled through depredation( night-time shooting)and snaring.

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