Père David's Deer


Père David's Deer

Taxobox
name = Père David's Deer
status = EW
status_system = iucn3.1


image_width = 250px
image_caption =
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Artiodactyla
familia = Cervidae
subfamilia = Cervinae
genus = "Elaphurus"
species = "E. davidianus"
binomial = "Elaphurus davidianus"
binomial_authority = Milne-Edwards, 1866

Père David's Deer, "Elaphurus davidianus", known as "Milu" in Chinese (麋鹿), is a species of deer known only in captivity. It prefers marshland, and is believed to be native to the subtropics. It grazes on a mixture of grass and water plants.

Characteristics

Adults weigh 150-200 kg (330-440 pounds), and stand about 45 in at the shoulders. They have a nine-month gestation period, and one or two fawns are born at a time. They reach maturity at about 14 months, and have been known to reach the age of 23 years.

Père David's Deer has a long tail, wide hooves, and branched antlers. Adults have summer coats that are bright red with a dark dorsal stripe, and dark gray winter coats. The fawns are spotted.

Unlike most deer, it is very fond of water, and swims well, spending long periods standing in water up to its shoulders. Although a predominant grazing animal, the deer supplements its grass diet with water plants in the summer.

Names

Besides the Chinese official name Milu (麋鹿), a Chinese nickname name (Traditional Chinese:四不像, pinyin: sì bú xiàng), and in Japanese: 四不像 (shifuzou): translates as "four unlikes," because the animal has been described as having "the hoofs of a cow but not a cow, the head of a horse but not a horse, the antlers of a deer but not a deer, the body of a donkey but not a donkey." [http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp, http://www.wildlife-plant.gov.cn/2-hydt/jiangsu1.htm , http://www.tato.com.cn/park/zoo/yilan1.htm] Several other sources claim "sibuxiang" to have different meanings: "the nose of a cow but not a cow, the antlers of a deer but not a deer, the body of a donkey but not a donkey, tail of a horse but not a horse" [Taiwanese gov't on their zoo FAQ page, http://www.zoo.gov.tw/web5d1.htm] ; "the tail of a donkey, the head of a horse, the hoofs of a cow, the antlers of a deer"; [http://www.aoba.sakura.ne.jp/~momoncyo/zoo/animal_P_D_deer.htm] "the neck of a camel, the hoofs of a cow, the tail of a donkey, the antlers of a deer"; [http://www2.odn.ne.jp/~cbf13020/kumamoto.html page, and also the "sika" page: http://www.ultimateungulate.com/perdavdeer.html] "the antlers of a deer, the head of a horse and the body of a cow" [ [http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200001/13/eng20000113R110.html China To Return More David's Deer To the Wild ] ] . By this name, this undomesticated animal entered Chinese mythology as the mount of Jiang Ziya in the Ming novel Fengshen Yanyi, or "Investiture of the Gods."

Population

This species of deer was first made known to Western science in the 19th century, by Father Armand David, a French missionary working in China. At the time, the only surviving herd was in a preserve belonging to the Chinese emperor. The last herd of Père David's Deer that remained in China were eaten by Western and Japanese troops that were present at the time of the Boxer RebellionFact|date=December 2007.

After Father David publicized their existence, a few animals were illegally transported to European countries for exhibitional purpose, and bred there. After the remaining population in China was extirpated, the remaining deer in Europe were gathered to England and bred for the preservation of the species. The current population stems from this herd. These deer are now found in zoos around the world. Two herds of Père David's Deer were reintroduced to Nan Haizi Milu Park, Beijing, and Dafeng Reserve, Jiangsu Province, China in the late 1980s. In spite of the small population size, the animals do not appear to suffer genetic problems from a genetic bottleneck, suggesting that a previous bottleneck had already removed harmful recessive alleles.

When they were assessed for the IUCN Red List (1996), they are classified as "critically endangered" in the wild, under criteria "D": " [wild] population estimated to number less than 50 mature individuals". [ [http://www.iucnredlist.org/info/categories_criteria1994#categories The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species] ] As of the latest assessment in October, 2008, they are now listed as extinct in the wild.

References

Literature

* Listed as Critically Endangered (CR D v2.3)
* Robert Twigger, "The Extinction Club" (William Morrow, 2001). ISBN-10: 0688175392 This is an account of the author's research into the Milu.
* "The New Funk & Wagnalls Illustrated Wildlife Enyclopedia: Volume 16" (1980). ISBN 0-8343-0035-4.

External links

*ARKive - [http://www.arkive.org/species/GES/mammals/Elaphurus_davidianus/ images and movies of the Pere David’s deer "(Elaphurus davidianus)"]
* [http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Elaphurus_davidianus.html Père David's Deer] at "Animal Diversity Web"


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Père David's deer — /pair dah veedz , pair day vidz/ a medium sized, reddish gray deer, Elaphurus davidianus, of which stocks were obtained in Peking in 1865 and brought to parks in Europe before the remaining Chinese deer were killed in 1900: the species is… …   Universalium

  • Père David’s deer — Dovydo elnias statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Elaphurus davidianus angl. Père David’s deer vok. Davidshirsch; Milu; Miluhirsch rus. милу; олень Давида pranc. cerf du Père David ryšiai: platesnis… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Père David’s deer — Dovydo elniai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas gentis apibrėžtis Gentyje 1 rūšis. Laikomi zoologijos soduose, parkuose. atitikmenys: lot. Elaphurus angl. Père David’s deer vok. Davidshirsche; Miluhirsche; Milus rus. китайские …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Père David's deer — noun a large deer with long antlers with backward pointing tines, now found only in captivity. [Elaphurus davidianus.] Origin C19: named after the French naturalist Father Armand David …   English new terms dictionary

  • Père David's deer — /pɛə daˈvidz/ (say pair dah veedz) noun a large grey deer, Elaphurus davidianus, living in captivity as descendants of a herd kept in the Imperial hunting park near Beijing. {named after Father A David, died 1900, French missionary} …   Australian English dictionary

  • pere david's deer — noun large Chinese deer surviving only in domesticated herds • Syn: ↑elaphure, ↑Elaphurus davidianus • Hypernyms: ↑deer, ↑cervid • Member Holonyms: ↑Elaphurus, ↑genus Elaphurus …   Useful english dictionary

  • Père David's deer — noun A species of deer known only in captivity, which prefers marshland and is believed to be native to the subtropics of China …   Wiktionary

  • cerf du Père David — Dovydo elnias statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Elaphurus davidianus angl. Père David’s deer vok. Davidshirsch; Milu; Miluhirsch rus. милу; олень Давида pranc. cerf du Père David ryšiai: platesnis… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • cerfs du Père David — Dovydo elniai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas gentis apibrėžtis Gentyje 1 rūšis. Laikomi zoologijos soduose, parkuose. atitikmenys: lot. Elaphurus angl. Père David’s deer vok. Davidshirsche; Miluhirsche; Milus rus. китайские …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Deer — This article is about the ruminant animal. For other uses, see Deer (disambiguation). Fawn and Stag redirect here. For other uses, see Fawn (disambiguation) and Stag (disambiguation). Deer Temporal range: Early Oligocene–Recent …   Wikipedia


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