Javan rusa are found on most of the islands of Southeast Asia. They occur from Malaysia in the west to New Zealand in the east. (Kitchener and Charlton, 1990)
Javan rusa are principly found in deciduous forests, plantations and grasslands in the islands of Southeast Asia. They prefer the edges of the forest. (Whitehead, 1993)
Male Javan rusa are larger than females. Males usually weigh 152 kg, while females weigh about 74 kg. The males have a lyre-shaped, three-tined antlers, which weigh about 2.5 kg. Males and females have a rough grayish brown coat that is often coarse in appearance. Their ears are rounded and broad. The animals look short and stubby because they have relatively short legs. (Cranbrook, 1991; Huffman, 1999)
Like other deer species, Javan rusa have a polygynous mating system, with males competing for access to receptive females.
The gestation period is 8 months. They give birth to 1 calf, rarely 2. Breeding occurs throughout the year but peaks during the months between of July and September.
Newly born calves stay with their mother. Weaning is from 6 to 8 months. These deer reach sexual maturity 18 to 24 months after birth. (Huffman, 1999; Putman, 1988)
Javan rusa live between 15 to 20 years in the wild and in captivity. Rarely do they live for more than 20 years. (Putman, 1988)
Javan rusa are primarily nocturnal but they can browse and graze during the day. During the mating season, males decorate their antlers with grass and twigs to attract the females and intimidate competitors. Males are extremely vocal and aggressive towards one another. Males and females live separately most of the year, except during the mating season. Young calves stay with their mothers until they reach sexual maturity. They are gregarious, normally associating in herds. (Cranbrook, 1991; Huffman, 1999)
Home range sizes of Javan rusa are not known.
Javan rusa, like other deer species, use chemical and visual cues and sounds in communication around reproductive state.
Like most deer, Javan rusa eat primarily grass and leaves. They hardly drink any water because they get their fluid from the grass and the leaves. (Kitchener and Charlton, 1990)
Although the Javan deer sometimes graze during the day, they are mostly nocturnal to avoid diurnal predators. Their primary predators are crocodiles, pythons, and Komodo dragons. (; Cranbrook, 1991)
Javan rusa help disperse seeds in the forest.
Javan rusas shed their antlers between the months of October and February. These are collected and used primarily in Asian medicine. Also, the antlers can be used as jewelry. In Queensland, Australia, 50% of the deer farmed are Javan rusa. While economic by-products such as hides offer some income to rusa farmers in Australia, the major commercial activity from rusa deer farming is deer meat (venison) production. Venison is considered a lean and nutritious red meat. (Sinclair, 1998)
Javan rusa have a direct impact on farming through competition with domestic stocks. The competition for pasture, between the deer and domestic animals use for farming, seems to be a very important issue in Indonesia. Also, Javan rusa eat crops and sometimes spread weeds that are harmful to farming. (Wodzicki, 1950)
Javan rusa are not considered endangered currently.
Javan rusa are the largest Rusa species. They were previously known by the scientific name Cervus timorensis.
Eduardo Reyes (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Bret Weinstein (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.
uses sound to communicate
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
active at dawn and dusk
a substance used for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
an animal that mainly eats leaves.
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
generally wanders from place to place, usually within a well-defined range.
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
having more than one female as a mate at one time
scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
one of the sexes (usually males) has special physical structures used in courting the other sex or fighting the same sex. For example: antlers, elongated tails, special spurs.
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
young are relatively well-developed when born
Cranbrook, E. 1991. Mammals of South-east Asia. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Huffman, B. 1999. "Sunda Sambar, Rusa Deer" (On-line). Accessed November 18, 2001 at http://www.ultimateungulate.com/rusadeer.html.
Kitchener, D., L. Charlton. 1990. Wild Mammals of Lombok Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 33: 105-106.
Putman, R. 1988. The Natural History of Deer. Ithaca, NY: Comstock Publishing Associates.
Sinclair, S. 1998. "Deer Farming in Queensland Rusa Deer Management" (On-line). Accessed November 18, 2001 at http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/animals/5482.html.
Whitehead, K. 1993. The Whitehead Encyclopedia of Deer. Stillwater,MN: Voyager Press Inc..
Wodzicki, K. 1950. Introduced Mammals of New Zealand. Wellington, New Zealand: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.