Muntjac deer fall in the category of those deer that are shy and elusive. They are also known by the name of Kakad deer or the Barking deer in India. The reason for the latter name is their alarm call, which seems very much similar to the barking of a dog. Indian Muntjac deer counts amongst the ten subspecies of the Barking deer in the world.
The height of the barking deer of India is somewhere between 50 cm to
75 cm. Their average lifespan is 20 to 30 years and they weigh somewhere
around 20 to 30 kg. They can be easily distinguished from the other
deer. The deer have two raised dark ridges on their forehead, which
extend till their antlers. One of the unique features of Kakad deer is
that they have both, a pair of antlers as well as overgrown canines
(tushes). They make use of the tushes mainly as weapons in a fight.
Kakad deer are very shy creatures and prefer to live in isolation. One
rarely finds them moving around in groups. Even if you find them in
company, it will not be more than that of a single deer. The alarm call
of a Muntjac deer is taken seriously only when it is repeated endlessly.
The low height and small stature of Indian Muntjac deer make grass and
fallen fruits the perfect food for them.
The Barking deer are mostly seen inhabiting dense forests of India.
Even while grazing, they will rarely move into open grasslands and
usually remain near the edge of dense forests. However, one can
frequently find the Muntjac deer of India at salt licks. Apart from the
Kalesar forest of Haryana, they are found in almost all the dense
jungles of the Indian subcontinent.
Barking deer is still not counted amongst the endangered species.
Nevertheless, the government has imposed a ban on their hunting.
Muntjac deer are frequently sighted in the following national parks of