Formosan Reeves’s Muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi; Chinese name: å±±ç¾Œ), or just Reeves’s Muntjac, is an endemic muntjac species of Taiwan. The muntjac is also found on the mainland of eastern Asia, and has been successfully introduced in the Netherlands and England. It feeds on herbs, blossoms, succulent shoots, and grasses and nuts. It takes its name from John Reeves, who was appointed Assistant Inspector of Tea for the British East India Company in 1812.
The muntjac grows to 37 inches (95 cm) in length, and weighs between 10 and 22-40 pounds (1894 kg) when full grown. The male has short antlers, usually four inches or less, and uses them to push enemies off balance so he can wound them with his upper canines. The small deer is also called the barking deer.
Reeves’s Muntjac in England
An unspecified species of muntjac was introduced to the grounds of Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire in the nineteenth century by the then Duke of Bedford. While a small number are reported as escaping, it is extremely unlikely that they are the source of the current UK population. Larger numbers of muntjac escaped from Whipsnade Zoo, and they are the more likely ancestors, in addition to other releases. Since the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it has been illegal to release the species except where already established. Muntjac colonies exist throughout England below Derbyshire, and the population continues to grow. It is thought that they will soon become the UK’s most numerous deer.