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Muntjac deer

Muntjac deer

Muntjac are not frequently seen in the New Forest: you are most likely to spot them in the south-eastern areas around Beaulieu.

They were introduced from China to the Duke of Bedford’s Woburn Park in the late 19th century. They escaped, or were deliberately released, and soon established wild populations. Now they are widespread in southern and central England, getting scarcer as you go north, but they continue to spread and increase in number.

Muntjac like cover and live predominantly in woods with plenty of scrub in the understorey. In urban areas they are often seen in gardens. You will be lucky to see one in the New Forest and your best chance would be early in the morning in woodlands around Beaulieu. Muntjac numbers are on the increase but the Forestry Commission has a policy of culling them because they represent a threat to the native roe deer.

Muntjac are also known as barking deer due to their repeated loud barking, and they also scream or squeak when alarmed. Unlike other species of deer in the UK, muntjac do not have a defined breeding season and can breed all year round, with the females able to conceive again within days of giving birth.

ID Tip


Muntjac are small, dog-sized creatures with long back legs. This gives them a raised and rounded back end, making them look almost pig-like. The males (bucks) have short, simple antlers. They are generally solitary or found in pairs (doe with kid or buck with doe).

Lead Ranger


'To help ground nesting birds rear their young safely, keep yourself, dogs and ridden horses on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of July.'

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