While not many of us can differentiate them, there are multiple types of deer spread all over the globe. Want to know more about these wonderful animals? Continue reading.
Deer are one of the most extensively distributed animals across the world. Known for their magnificent antlers and noble and gentle appearance, different deer breeds worldwide share a lot in common.
However, there are ways to differentiate them from their horns’ adaptation, tail, color, and nature. With at least 43 known dear species globally, there’s a lot to learn about these wonderful animals.
Here we provide a detailed list of types of deer.
Table of Contents
Top Names of Deer Breeds Around the World
1. White-Tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer is the most heavily populated species in North America. However, their range extends from Canada to the southern part of the Peruvian mountains. Interestingly, this deer species changes its color from tan or brown in summer to grayish in winter.
Additionally, you can identify the white-tailed deer through its white color on its throat, its stomach, around its nose and eyes, as well as the lower side of its tail. A male deer weighs between 130 to 300 pounds, while a female weighs between 100 to 200 pounds.
The white-tailed deer feeds on plants. Following well-used trails to its feeding location, the middle-sized animal feeds during the early morning hours and in the late afternoon. This deer’s diet changes depending on the season and its habitat.
For instance, the deer eats green plants during summer and spring and consumes twigs of woody plants and buds during winter.
These deer breeds are mostly found in wooded areas, vast Northern forests, farm country, and wide-open grasslands. Its overpopulation nature becomes a problem in some areas.
However, in the wild, the white-tailed deer, especially the young ones, are preyed upon by gray wolves, lions, and bobcats. The deer escapes its predators using agility and speed, running up to 30 miles per hour, jumping as high as 10 feet and as far as 30 feet in a single bound.
This deer mates every November in the Northern part of their habitat or January in the Southern part of their range. The female deer’s gestation period is seven months and can give birth to between one and three fawns at a time.
Fawns are reddish-brown at birth with white spots that assist them in camouflaging. Besides, the young deer can walk immediately after birth, and they are weaned after six weeks.
2. Mule Deer
Mule deer are social animals that usually stay in groups. The animals live in a multi-generation family of related females and their offspring. Mule deer get their name from their big, mule-like ears, which they can independently move to survey their environs for sounds of would-be danger.
The mule deer boasts of a unique black forehead that contrasts with a light gray face. Furthermore, the mule deer turns tannish-brown during summer and brownish-gray in winter.
The animals, mostly found in the Stony Mountains’ coniferous forests, can grow up to three feet high at the shoulder and weigh between 100 to 300 pounds.
Mule deer feed on plants and graze, depending on the season. The deer eats various plants such as trees and twigs, green plants, corn, and nuts, with ponderosa pine and Douglas fir being their favorite meal.
Also, mule deer are choosy feeders. Rather than consuming significant quantities of low-quality feeds, these herbivores opt for the most nutritious plants.
Male mule deer engage in a fierce antlers fight to earn mating rights with the females. The winner attracts the females and defends them against other interested bucks.
Their gestation period lasts between six and seven months, where one or two fawns are born at the start of summer. The spotted young fawns spend their day hidden in the bushes when the mother is away.
Young mule deer are weaned at 61 to 74 days, where they also start losing their spots.
3. Hog Deer
A member of the Cervidae family, the hog deer, has its roots in northern India, Pakistan, and the mainland Southeast of Asia. However, hog deer were also introduced in various other regions like Sri Lanka, the USA, and Australia.
The low and stocky animals with a muscular body derive its name from its habit of running with its head down in a hog-like manner.
Lifestyle and Territories
Although you may find them grazing in small herds in places with plenty of food, Hog deer are private animals. Also, these deer species are known to form small family units.
They mostly feed during the morning and evening hours and hardly migrate. Upon danger, the hog deer group members escape in various directions, hiding in thick vegetation until the threat has passed.
Nutrition and Diet
Hog deer are ruminant herbivores. The animals can graze and browse, though they prefer grazing. Their typical food includes twigs, leaves, grasses, young shoots of edible trees, and fruits.
Hog deer are polygamous, with one male deer mating with several females. But, you may find some males that stick and mate one female deer. Mating season is mostly from August to October, where male hog deer engage in a tough competition, each defending its mating rights.
A female hog deer gives birth to a single fawn after an eight-month gestation period, and the fawns are weaned at six months.
Caribou deer are commonly found in the Northern regions of North America. This deer species, typically known as reindeer when tamed, belongs to a vast group of hoofed ungulate mammals known as artiodactyls.
This is the only deer species where both females and males grow antlers. However, males have more extensive and more branched out antlers as compared to the females. Caribou deer measures approximately 2.2 meters’ in length and 1.5 meters’ shoulder height.
Caribou are herbivorous. The mammal’s preferred diet includes tundra plant matter such as twigs, moss and lichen, and leaves. An adult caribou consumes between five to six kilograms per day.
Additionally, the caribou deer have a four-chambered stomach similar to a cow to help them digest their food.
These are among the few types of deer known for their migrations. The mammals live together in herds and are always on the move. They are known to cover a distance of over 3000 miles during their yearly migration.
The animals frequently cross lakes and rivers during their migration travels. Their broad hooves act as paddles, which makes swimming for the deer pretty easy. In addition, their air-filled, thick coat helps them stay warm during cold swims.
The mating season occurs from October to November. The male deer, also known as bulls, fights to access the females. The most dominant males attract between 15-20 females to mate with.
During the mating season, males forego eating, making them lose a considerable amount of their body reserve.
Most baby caribou, known as calves, are born in May or June on inland caving grounds after a 45 days’ gestation period. A female caribou deer gives birth to one calf per year.
See related: African Wild Dog
5. Red Brocket
This is among the biggest types of deer globally. They boast of a heavily build body and slender legs. Its name comes from the overall red coloration of its fur.
The mammal also has some white patches inside its legs, lips, throat, inner parts of the ear, and the tail’s lower part.
Red brocket is hard to find in the wild due to its natural cautiousness and shy nature. When alarmed by a potential threat, these mammals remain motionless and run to the dense forest cover when directly threatened.
Also, they are solitary animals and can be active both during the night and day. Each red brocket owns its small territory with a radius of up to one kilometer.
The red brocket diet mostly includes fruits. And, when the fruits are scarce, these mammals usually switch to a leaf-based diet. The animals are also known to consume fungi during wet seasons.
The female red brocket is known as a doe, while the male is known as the stag. A single spotted fawn is born after a gestation period of 220-228 days.
However, the markings will vanish within three months after birth, and the young ones are weaned at six months. Red brockets mature pretty early, such that at only eleven months, the deer are ready to mate.
The Northern pudu is the smallest type of deer across the world. It has a small rounded body, short spike-like antlers, and thin, delicate legs. The wild mammal weighs from 26 to 30 pounds when mature.
The males are usually bigger than females. Additionally, the deer comes with a dense and thick dark brown colored coat. This acts as a perfect defense against harsh elements in the habitats they reside.
This deer species is mostly found in locations with a warm climate, such as Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Ecuador. They hide in the dense forest but often come out to the open plains to find food.
Pudu deer feeds from sources close to the ground due to their short stature. They mostly feed on seasonal fruits around their natural habitat. Also, they consume twigs and leaves from plants and lower branches of trees.
The pudu deer stands with their back legs to reach for foods that are higher up. Interestingly, some of the pudu deer are known to climb trees to get fruits.
After mating, the female pudu takes about 210 days for the young ones to be born. Due to its small body, a female Northern pudu gives birth to only one fawn at a time.
The sexual maturity of a female pudu is six months, while that of the males is around 18 months. The Northern pudu deer has a life span of eight to ten years in the wild.
7. Black-tailed Deer
The black-tailed deer are part of the mule species found in Western North America, specifically in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California regions. But, these types of deer can also be found in Western Oregon and Washington.
The black-tailed deer was initially believed to be a subspecies of the North American mule deer. Comprehensive research has determined that the mating of the blacktail bucks and the whitetail gives rise to the mule deer.
Black-tailed deer live in the temperate rainforest, and clearings caused by forest fires or logging. Additionally, the mammal,which weighs from 30 to 210 kilograms is also confined to the Pacific Northwest islands and the Western slopes of the coast mountain range.
Blacktail deer consume twigs, shrubs, grass, and leaves. They retreat to the forest during winter, where they browse on understory vegetation, especially lichens. Male blacktail deer develop antlers annually, which they use for self-defense, getting food from the trees, and fighting.
Black-tailed deer mate from November through December. The female deer gestation period is six to seven months, with fawns born in May or June the following year. Interestingly, female deer prefer bucks with big and heavy antlers as a mating partner.
This deer species usually give birth to twins, each weighing approximately 2.7 to 4 kilograms.
8. Fallow Deer
The fallow deer prides itself in the elegant spotted coat-like covering. You can easily identify the fallow deer as it has a longer tail than most other types of deer.
Additionally, the medium-sized animal has a light chestnut-brown coat with white spots during summer and a duller grey-brown coat in winter.
Fallow deer are social creatures and live in herds of up to 50. The male deer grows palm-like antlers, which they shed every year.
This deer species feed on grass, leaves, and herbs during summer, and berries, nuts, bark, and fungi during winter.
Fallow deer are mostly found in farmlands, woodland, grassland, towns, and gardens, as well as moorland and heathland.
During mating, the male deer known as bucks establish their territories by urinating and marking soil using their antlers and hooves. Bucks fight amongst themselves to attract females as they call aloud to indicate their prowess.
The fallow deer mate in October and November, after which female deer give birth to a single fawn in June or July after a gestation period of 230 days. A young fallow deer weighs approximately four to five kilograms at birth.
See related: African Elephant
9. Thorold’s Deer
Also known as the white-lipped deer, the large and striking animal weighs between 130 to 140 kilograms when fully grown. The deer’s muzzle is all white, and their eyes have different white-eye rings.
White patches of fur are found on the chin and the throat. Also, these mammals boast of broad and large hooves that enable them to climb through rough terrain.
The white-lipped deer are generally found on high hills and mountains covered with forest, shrubs, willows, and meadows. Also, the deer fancies high and open fields, usually above 11,500 feet above sea level.
This vulnerable deer faces a habitat loss problem with about 100,000 animals remaining in the wild.
Thorold’s deer feed mostly on grasses and herbaceous plants found in the mountain habitat in which they live. However, at the zoo, the animals consume pellets, pasture grass, and alfalfa hay.
White-lipped deer mates between October and December. The males and females feed separately but come together during the mating season. Male Thorold’s deer competes amongst themselves to access the females.
They fight using their antlers to decide which male is strongest, to breed with interested females. One fawn is born in May or June after a gestation period between 260 and 280 days.
10. Sambar Deer
Sambar deer have numerous subspecies that differ in appearance and size. A male adult sambar deer weighs approximately 550 kilograms. They have a thick coat of long, rough hair, which forms tight curls around the neck, particularly the males.
You can tell apart the males by their antlers, which are somewhat darker and bigger than those of the females.
Sambar deer are mostly nocturnal, and they rest during the day under the cover of heavy forest. The animals congregate near water sources and are great swimmers. They can also be found in dry deciduous forest, lake edges, swamps, scrub patches, or pine forests.
Sambar deer lives on grass, water plants, berries, fruits, bamboo, leaves, foliage, stems and bark, buds, and an extensive range of trees and shrubs.
Like several other types of deer, Sambars are polygamous, with one male can mating with several females. During the breeding season, the male deer get aggressive as they guard their breeding territories and attract female deer by displaying vocals and smells.
The mating season usually takes place between September and January. The female sambar deer gives birth to one fawn after a gestation period of nine months—the young ones start eating solid food from 5 to 14 days after delivery.