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Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Calamian Deer in Palawan

The Calamian Deer (Axis calamianensis), also known as Calamian Hog DeerPhilippine Deer or Usa in local term, is endemic only in Calamian Group of Islands in Palawan, Philippines. Its included in  IUCN Red list in 2007 as endangered species. The decrease in population is due to hunting and damage of forest by practice of native people in Palawan using Kaingin system (slush and burn method of agriculture). 

Conservation occurs in Calauit Island Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary which is established in 1976. In 1995 the management of sanctuary was transferred to Palawan Council for Sustainable Development. The sanctuary also house some endemic animals from Philippines and exotic animals from Africa.

The Calamian Deer is fairly small and heavy bodied with relative long legs. The size is 100 to 175 cm in length, shoulder height of 60 to 100 cm, and weight 27 to 110 kg. Its coarse hair is tawny-brown with darker underparts and the legs are darker than the rest of the body. The face has subtle white markings around the muzzle inside while the base of the ears, throat, underside of the short,bushy tail is also white. The mature mail has three-pronged antlers.

They are inhabits in grassland, second growth scrub and woodland. They are seen before in groups of 7 to 14 individuals in the wild. In captivity, Calamian deer have been observed to mate and give birth year round with gestation period of 222 days.

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Calamian Deer in Balboa Park, Banker's Hill, San Diego, California
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The male and female Calamian Deer endemic in Philippines
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Calamian Deer in Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
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Calamian Deer in San Diego Zoo
Male Calamian Deer
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Calamian Deer in Calauit, Palawan

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