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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

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Maximum longevity: 22.9 years (captivity) Observations: One captive specimen was at least 22.9 years when it died (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Although once plentiful throughout its native range, A. porcinus faces serious decline, especially in Pakistan and surrounding areas due to habitat destruction and hunting pressure. As a result of human control over the Indus River flood, a large part of the natural habitat of A. porcinus is drying out.

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Behavior

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Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Conservation Status

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No conservations efforts are underway.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: endangered

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Benefits

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In Hawaii, A. porcinus populations have multiplied and spread and are blamed for ecological damage.

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Benefits

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Recently, A. porcinus has become a sought after source of venison particularly in the United States. The meat was judged best tasting wild game meat by the Exotic Wildlife Association and is considered fat free (contains less than 1% fat). Commercialized hunting of A.porcinus is also important to many, both in its native and introduced ranges.

Positive Impacts: food ; ecotourism

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Associations

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Ecosystem Impact: disperses seeds

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Trophic Strategy

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Hog deer feed nocturnally. They both graze and browse, but seem to prefer grazing. Typical foods include grasses, leaves, and occasionally fruit.

Foods commonly eaten include: Saccharum spontaneum (wild cane), Saccharum munja, Tamarix dioica, Populus euphratica and Zizyphus jujuba.

Plant Foods: leaves; fruit

Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore )

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Distribution

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Axis porcinus has a native geographic range throughout India, including the Himalayan foothill zone and Southeast Asia, including Burma and Thailand. The majority inhabits the Indus River Forest Reserves of Sindh. Humans have introduced free-ranging populations of A. porcinus in Sri Lanka, Australia (specifically the coastal regions of south and east Gippsland), and the United States, including Texas, Florida, and Hawaii.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); australian (Introduced )

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Habitat

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Axis porcinus appears to prefer dense forests; however, they are often observed in clearings, grasslands and occasionally wet grasslands. This variation is usually associated with time of year and food distribution.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical

Terrestrial Biomes: forest

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Life Expectancy

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Hog deer live 10-20 years both in captivity and in the wild, although the averages differ.

Average lifespan
Status: wild:
20 years.

Average lifespan
Status: captivity:
20 years.

Average lifespan
Status: wild:
10 years.

Average lifespan
Status: captivity:
17 years.

Average lifespan
Status: captivity:
20.0 years.

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Morphology

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Built for creeping/bush-hugging, A. porcinus is a relatively small yet powerful cervid, with a stocky, muscular body. The limbs are noticeably short and delicate; the hindlimbs are longer than the forelimbs, raising the rump to a height greater than that of the shoulders. The face is short and wedge shaped.

Adult A. porcinus have pelage that is coarse and the overall coloration is a dark olive brown; however, the guard hairs have white tips. Fawns are born with a pale sandy-yellow color and with cream colored horizontally distributed spots along their flanks. At approximately six months this coloration gradually gives way to the adult coloration. Often, in the summer, the coat of an adult A. porcinus changes to reveal spots that are distributed such as those found on the fawn. The rhinarium is always naked and brown. One distinctive feature of A. porcinus is the unusually large round ears that are fringed with white hairs. Also, the tail is particularly bushy due to long hairs that lie in a dorso-ventral pattern.

This species exhibits sexual dimorphism. The females are slightly smaller than males and lack antlers. The males have noticeably thick muscular necks. They also have antlers that tend to be small and unimpressive compared to other members of the genus Axis as well as the entire Family Cervidae. Typically the antlers are three-tined; however, extra points are not uncommon. The antlers are covered in velvet for much of the year and project from conspicuous hairy pedicles.

Range mass: 36 to 50 kg.

Range length: 125 to 135 cm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Associations

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Hog deer are capable swimmers and often enter the water when threatened. If water is not available, they run, with a trotting gait, with their head held low, instead of leaping like other cervids (this, along with the animal's coloration, accounts for its common name). Another anti-predator adaptation is interspecies signaling. When threatened, they raise their tail to expose white hairs, alerting others to danger. Also, A. porcinus makes warning barks.

Known Predators:

  • jackals (Canis)
  • Jungle Cat (Felis chaus)
  • wolves (Canis lupus)
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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Reproduction

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During the breeding season, male A. porcinus are extremely aggressive, frequently challenging one another. Typically, challenges do not result in any physical harm. They are a test of strength and endurance where two males lower their heads, interlock antlers and push until one animal surrenders. Males mate with as many females as is possible; however, it is not uncommon for a male to court and defend a single female. It is not known how many males a female A. porcinus will allow to mate with her during a given breeding season.

Mating System: polygynous

Sexual maturity in A. porcinus occurs at 8-12 months of age. From this point mature individuals mate yearly from August to October. Breeding seasons, however, vary slightly in the introduced populations.

Range number of offspring: 1 to 2.

Average number of offspring: 1.

Average gestation period: 8 months.

Average weaning age: 6 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 8-12 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 8-12 months.

Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual

Average birth mass: 2532 g.

Average gestation period: 232 days.

Average number of offspring: 1.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
Sex: female:
304 days.

Gestation lasts for approximately eight months, thus A. porcinus births occur from May to July. Newly born fawns are dropped in dense reed beds or grass thickets where they remain concealed from predators for several days while the mother feeds, returning only periodically to suckle. Young are precocial at birth. Weaning occurs at approximately six months.

Parental Investment: precocial ; female parental care

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Michelin, A. 2002. "Axis porcinus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Axis_porcinus.html
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Andrea Michelin, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Bret Weinstein, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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Indian hog deer

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The Indian hog deer (Hyelaphus porcinus) is a small deer native to the Indo-Gangetic Plain in Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, Bangladesh to mainland Southeast Asia. It also occurs in western Thailand and southwestern Yunnan Province in China;[1] introduced populations exist in Australia.[2][3]

Its name derives from the hog-like manner in which it runs through forests (with its head hung low), to ease ducking under obstacles instead of leaping over them, like most other deer.

Description

 src=
Young hog deer male in Assam

A mature hog deer stag stands about 70 centimetres (28 in) at the shoulder, and weighs approximately 50 kilograms (110 lb); hinds are much smaller, standing about 61 centimetres (24 in) and weighing around 30 kilograms (66 lb). They are very solidly built, with a long body and relatively short legs; the line of the back slopes upward from the shoulders to a high rump. The ears are rounded; older animals tend to become light coloured in the face and neck. The Indian hog deer's coat is quite thick, and generally a uniform dark-brown in winter, except for the underparts of the body and legs, which are lighter in colour. During late spring, the change to a summer coat of rich reddish-brown commences, although this may vary between individuals. Many hog deer show a dark dorsal stripe extending from the head down the back of the neck, and along the spine. In summer, there is usually a uniform row of light-coloured spots along either side of the dorsal stripe from the shoulders to the rump. The tail is fairly short and brown, but tipped with white. The underside of the tail is white, and the deer can fan the white hairs out in a distinctive alarm display.

Indian hog deer have preorbital glands on the face just below the eyes and metatarsal glands located high on the side of the rear legs. Pedal glands are located between the cleaves or toes of the hind hooves.

The antlers of a mature hog deer stag are typically three tined, having a brow tine and a solid main beam terminating in inner and outer top tines. However, antlers with more points are not uncommon. The distinctive features of typical hog deer antlers are the acute angle between the brow tine and main beam, and the fact that the inner tops tend to be short and angle back from the main beam and across towards the opposite antler.

Behaviour and ecology

 src=
Female suckling fawn in Kaziranga, India

The Indian hog deer is gregarious only when conditions are favorable and do not form a "unit" at these times, fleeing in different directions rather than in a herd. When alarmed, hog deer make a whistling vocalization or a warning bark. Home ranges vary widely in size, but average about 0.70 km². Males are aggressive, and may become territorial at low population densities, marking the boundaries with glandular secretions. During the rut, males gather in open meadows, pawing the ground during antagonistic encounters. Harems are not created, with males courting and defending a single female at any given time. Unlike many other deer species, hog deer do not have a rutting call. Population densities may be as low as 0.1 animals per square kilometer in riverine valleys, rising to over 19 individuals per square kilometer in grassy flood plains.

Predators

The tiger, the leopard, and the clouded leopard are known predators of the Indian hog deer.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b Timmins, R.J.; Duckworth, J.W.; Samba Kumar, N.; Anwarul Islam, M.; Baral, H.S.; Long, B. & Maxwell, A. (2015). "Axis porcinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T41784A22157664.
  2. ^ Mayze, R.J. & Moore, G.I. (1990). The Hog Deer. Warragul, Victoria: Australian Deer Research Foundation. ISBN 9780959343861.
  3. ^ Bentley, A. (1998). An Introduction to the Deer of Australia: With Special Reference to Victoria. Warragul, Victoria: Australian Deer Research Foundation. ISBN 9780958573214.
  4. ^ Grassman Jr., L. I.; Tewes, M. E.; Silvy, N. J. & Kreetiyutanont, K. (2005). "Ecology of three sympatric felids in a mixed evergreen forest in North-central Thailand". Journal of Mammalogy. 86 (1): 29–38. doi:10.1644/1545-1542(2005)086<0029:EOTSFI>2.0.CO;2.

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Indian hog deer: Brief Summary

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The Indian hog deer (Hyelaphus porcinus) is a small deer native to the Indo-Gangetic Plain in Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, Bangladesh to mainland Southeast Asia. It also occurs in western Thailand and southwestern Yunnan Province in China; introduced populations exist in Australia.

Its name derives from the hog-like manner in which it runs through forests (with its head hung low), to ease ducking under obstacles instead of leaping over them, like most other deer.

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