HIMALAYAN MUSK DEER/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus


DESCRIPTION: A Himalayan Musk Deer can be differentiated from the Alpine Musk Deer in having dark legs and chest with no chest stripe. The underparts are paler, giving it the alternate name of White-bellied Musk Deer. The rump and buttocks are dark. The face is greyish brown and the eye may or may not have an eye ring, which when present is faint and greyish. The ears are brown on the back, but have grey rims and insides. Individual dorsal hairs have pure white bases, making the thick, bristly coat appear speckled with white. These speckles are more visible in
summer and in the young. An enigmatic taxon from the Western Himalayas, known as the pepper-and-salt form, is red–brown in colour, and unlike the usual form, has a pale throat, buttocks and tail. The head is grey with white spots or flecks, and the eye has orange patches above and below it. The ears are brown with a pale border and white insides. The hair bases are yellow and there is a whitish orange band separating this from the darker tip.

BEHAVIOUR: Communication is chiefly by olfaction. The deer scent marks bydefecation and secretions of the caudal, musk and interdigital glands.

DISTRIBUTION: The Himalayas from central Kashmir through Himachal Pradesh up to Sikkim.

HABITAT: Subalpine oak and rhododendron forests, medium-to high-elevation coniferous forest in the Western Himalayas, below the treeline, in Sikkim, thick bamboo forests below alpine zone.

Size: 50–100 cm,

Weight: 13–18 kg

IUCN Status: Endangered


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