Philippine spotted Deer

(Rusa alfredi)


Philippine spotted Deer IUCN ENDANGERED (EN)


Facts about this animal

With a head-body length of up to 130 cm and a shoulder height of 60 to 80 cm, the Philippine spotted deer is one of the smaller deer species. It has a crouched build, is rather short-legged, and its tail is short, 8 to 13 cm long, with a white to yellowish underside. Adults weigh 40 to 60 kg.
Characteristic for the species is the fine, soft, and dense fur with many large rounded spots which are scattered over the dark brown flanks. The under parts are paler. There is a white patch on the chin, and the insides of the ears are also white. The eyes are ringed with paler coloured fur.
The males have short, stout and rugose antlers, growing from short bony pedicles (about 4.5 cm long), which have a small brow tine.
The Philippine spotted deer is found in forests, preferring areas where natural disturbances such as fires or landslides opened the forest canopy and allowed young plants to grow in the clearing. It was formerly found from sea level to the mountaintops.
The Philippine spotted deer was recognised as a distinct species as late as 1983. Before it was considered a subspecies of the sambar (Cervus unicolor), although some authors reported it as a subspecies of Cervus mariannus.

Did you know?
that all Philippine spotted deer you can see in zoos are the property of the Philippine Government?


Name (Scientific) Rusa alfredi
Name (English) Philippine spotted Deer
Name (French) Cerf du Prince Alfred
Name (German) Prinz-Alfred-Hirsch
Name (Spanish) Ciervo moteado filipino
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



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Range Philippines (Negros and Panay)
Habitat In primary forest and second growth
Wild population Approx. 2,500 mature individuals and decreasing (IUCN Red List 2011)
Zoo population 56 reported to ISIS

In the Zoo

Philippine spotted Deer


How this animal should be transported

Hard antlers should be removed before transport under proper restraint and, where required, sedation. No deer with antlers in velvet at a stage of growth which could be damaged easily should be transported where there is a risk of injury.

For air transport, Container Note 73 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations, should be followed.


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Why do zoos keep this animal

Philippine spotted deer are highly endangered, therefore zoos keep them for the purposes of conservation breeding programmes. These ex situ programmes are linked to zoo conservation activities on Negros and Panay, the two Philippine islands where the deer is still found in small numbers in the wild.