Tufted deer

Near threatened

Mango, a male, lives with the red pandas

Scientific name : Elaphodus cephalophus

Where do they live?

In the forests of northern China

Did you know?

Tufted deer bark when they are alarmed, which serves as a warning to other individuals of their species. Their barking can also help alert humans to the presence of predators.

Measuring between 1.10 and 1.60 meters long and standing 50 to 70 cm in height at the shoulders, the tufted deer is one of the smallest deer in the world. They are found in the forests of northern China. The tufted deer is threatened because its hide is used to make high-end textiles.
Tufted deer can be distinguished by their upper canine teeth, and unlike other deer they are omnivorous. They eat mainly grass and leaves.
Only the males have antlers, but they do not have branches. The antlers measure only a few centimetres and are partially hidden by the long hair on the top of the head.


60 cm at the withers.

Length of the tail

10 cm.

Length of canine teeth

2.6 cm.


Between 17 and 30 kg.

Gestation period

210 days.

Life expectancy

15 years in captivity.

Keep up hope

In 1993, there were an estimated 500,000 tufted deer living in China. They are not considered threatened, but deforestation for agriculture and logging threaten their habitat. Today there are several groups of tufted deer living in animal parks across Europe. The Parc Animalier d'Auvergne is the only one in France. They have successfully been bred in captivity which is ideal for the conservation of the species in the long term.