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Calamian Deer

Scientific Name: Axis calamianensis

Conservation Status:

Endangered IUCN Red List


Calamian deer are known as “hog deer” because they are rather stout with short legs. When fleeing from potential threats, they dash through underbrush with their heads down like a hog instead of jumping over barriers like other deer. Like white-tailed deer, when danger threatens, they raise their tails and flash the white undersides as a warning to others.

These deer are crepuscular, meaning that they are active at sunrise and twilight. They rest during the warmer part of the day and then come out from the undergrowth at dusk to forage. They are typically found in small herds of seven to 14 individuals with smaller groups in heavily hunted areas. As with other deer species, they are ruminants, meaning that they have four stomach chambers and chew cud. A soft, high-pitched, nasal call is their main vocalization.

Like all deer, males (stags) grow antlers for the breeding season. The antlers have three prongs and grow to about nine inches. They are shed and regrown over a nine- or ten-month cycle. Females do not have antlers. A stag mates with and protects one female at a time. After an eight-month gestation, one fawn is born, usually to coincide with the beginning of the rainy season when food is more abundant. Unlike many deer, the fawn does not have spots, but it is hidden away in the undergrowth until it can keep up with mom. The fawn starts eating vegetation at about a month old. Humans are the greatest threat to this species. The population is under pressure from hunting, human settlement, and agricultural expansion over its very limited range. There is a lack of effective enforcement of local protective legislation.


The Calamian deer is found exclusively on a few islands in the Philippines. It is estimated that only 500 may remain in the wild. They prefer to live at the forest edges forest close to rivers or marshes.


These ungulates browse on shoots, leaves, and twigs.

Physical Characteristics

These deer stand up to 28 inches at the shoulder and have a body length of roughly 3.5 feet. They weigh 79 to 110 pounds and live between 12 and 20 years.


You’ll find this animal on the hillside in the Asia section. See Zoo Map.

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