Fun Himalayan Musk Deer Facts For Kids

Abhishek Mishra
Oct 20, 2022 By Abhishek Mishra
Originally Published on Aug 09, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Interesting Himalayan musk deer facts.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

A musk deer species, the Himalayan musk deer (Moschus leucogaster) is primarily found in the mountain range of the central Himalayas. Earlier, the species was considered a subspecies of the Alpine musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) and it is now also known as a white-bellied musk deer.

These deer are generally sandy brown and their average weight and length are 24-40 lb (11-18 kg) and 34-39 in (86-100 cm), respectively. Their limbs and rumps are generally dark in color, while the ventral side of their body ranges from white to gray.

Also, the Himalayan musk deer possesses a musk sac and a caudal gland, which are both primarily used during communication. Like the Siberian musk deer (Moschus moschiferus), the species lacks antlers.

Like other species of musk deer, these deer inhabit meadows, shrublands, and sparse forests (particularly fir forest habitats). These deer can also be found in alpine regions. They are found in India, Bhutan, China, Nepal, north Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

The IUCN has listed the species as Endangered. The species is threatened by hunting, habitat destruction, and predation. Himalayan musk deer generally inhabit protected areas, but poaching activities continue to occur. This species is known for its shy nature.

Let's read more interesting facts about the Himalayan musk deer, and if you find this article insightful, don't forget to check out exciting facts about different animals like the bontebok and the takin.

Himalayan Musk Deer Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Himalayan musk deer?

The Himalayan musk deer (Moschus leucogaster) is an Endangered species that is found in India, Bhutan, China, Nepal, and Pakistan. The species is also known as a white-bellied musk deer. The species is one of the most valuable animals in the wildlife trade.

What class of animal does a Himalayan musk deer belong to?

The Himalayan musk deer (Moschus leucogaster) belongs to the class of mammals, the family of Moschidae, and the Moschus genus. Earlier, the species was considered a subspecies of the Alpine musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster).

How many Himalayan musk deer are there in the world?

The exact population of the species is not known as of now, but overexploitation is causing a severe population decline. This deer is even sold (sometimes illegally) at the price of $45,000 for 2.2 lb (1 kg).

Other species, such as the Alpine musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster), have become threatened for the same reason. Studies show that the current conservation status of the species is not satisfactory.

Where does a Himalayan musk deer live?

The Himalayan musk deer is generally found in the central-eastern Himalayan mountain range, while the species can also be found in Asian countries such as India, Nepal, China, Bhutan, north Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In India, they inhabit Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh.

What is a Himalayan musk deer's habitat?

Like other species of musk deer, these deer inhabit meadows, shrublands, and sparse forests (particularly fir forest habitats). These deer are also found in alpine regions.

Who do Himalayan musk deer live with?

Like the black musk deer, these deer are solitary and prefer to live alone. They are diurnal and remain active during the morning and evening hours. In forests, they always try to conceal themselves. Himalayan musk deer can be seen in pairs during the breeding season.

How long does a Himalayan musk deer live?

These musk deer generally live for around 10-14 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Studies reveal that a male musk deer becomes quite anxious and territorial during the breeding season. The mating season generally occurs from November to January, during which time males protect the territories of female musk deer.

Using their long canine teeth, males compete with one another. They also possess a musk sac that is used to lure females. They are involved in multiple courtship displays.

The gestation period generally lasts for around 185-195 days, and then females give birth to either one or two young ones. Young musk deer remain with their mother for around six months and generally attain sexual maturity by 16-24 months of age.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN has listed the species as Endangered. The species is generally threatened by hunting, habitat destruction, and predation. Himalayan musk deer generally inhabit protected areas, but poaching activities continue to rise.

The population of the species in countries such as Nepal and China is quite severely threatened. Poachers generally hunt the animal for its musk sac, which is used in perfumes and some medicinal practices. Studies show that the current conservation status of the species is not satisfactory.

Himalayan Musk Deer Fun Facts

What do Himalayan musk deer look like?

Himalayan musk deer are generally sandy brown, and their limbs and rumps are generally darker, while the ventral side of their body ranges from white to gray. Also, this deer possesses a musk sac and caudal gland, which are primarily used during communication. This deer is quite muscular and also possesses strong hind legs.

These rare Himalayan musk deer facts would make you love them.

*Please note that this is an image of a Himalayan tahr, not a Himalayan musk deer. If you have an image of a Himalayan musk deer, please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

How cute are they?

This threatened species is one of the most beautiful animals in its Himalayan range, and the shy nature of the animal makes it even cuter. A unique feature of the species is its musk sac.

How do they communicate?

Like other mammal species, Himalayan musk deer follow similar methods of communication. This animal is best known for its highly acute sense of smell. These animals rub their caudal gland against vegetation to mark their home range and make hiss sounds to indicate danger. Also, the musk sac helps to attract partners.

How big is a Himalayan musk deer?

The average weight and length of the species are 24-40 lb (11-18 kg) and 34-39 in (86-100 cm), respectively. A Himalayan musk deer is twice the size of a pudu, while some are bigger than key deer, as well.

How fast can a Himalayan musk deer run?

The exact speed of the Himalayan musk deer species is not known as of now, but musk deer remain quite active in the wild. Like other species such as Siberian deer and black musk deer, these animals have the ability to conceal themselves in vegetation.

How much does a Himalayan musk deer weigh?

The Himalayan musk deer weighs around 24-40 lb (11-18 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

People generally use terms such as buck and joe to refer to male and female Himalayan musk deer, respectively.

What would you call a baby Himalayan musk deer?

The term fawn is used to refer to a baby Himalayan musk deer.

What do they eat?

Like most deer species of India, the species is a herbivore and a typical Himalayan musk deer diet includes plant leaves, grasses, forbs, mosses, lichen, twigs, and shoots. These animals are often preyed upon by Himalayan wolves, the lynx, and the red fox.

Are they dangerous?

Unlike other deer, these musk deer are quite small and very cute, but they are quite territorial and can attack if they feel threatened or provoked. It is better to stay away and protect them.

Would they make a good pet?

No, it is not allowed to keep these animals as pets.

Did you know...

The musk deer population is estimated to be around 5000.

The Siberian musk deer is found in northeast Asia.

Himalayan musk deer are often killed for their musk pods.

Are Himalayan musk deer endangered?

The IUCN has listed the species' conservation status as Endangered. The species is threatened by hunting, habitat destruction, and predation.

Himalayan musk deer inhabit protected areas in the wild, but poaching activities continue to rise. Antipoaching laws are needed as studies show that the current status of the species is not satisfactory. In China, captive farming for musk without killing the deer is promoted.

What are the threats to survival for Himalayan musk deer?

Hunting, predation, and habitat destruction are some of the major threats to these animals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our Chinese water deer facts and duiker facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Himalayan musk deer coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is of a Himalayan tahr, not a Himalayan musk deer. If you have an image of a Himalayan musk deer, please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

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Written by Abhishek Mishra

Bachelor of Arts specializing in History

Abhishek Mishra picture

Abhishek MishraBachelor of Arts specializing in History

As a content writer, Abhishek's passion for writing extends beyond professional content creation. With a Bachelor's degree in History from Ram Lal Anand College in Delhi, Abhishek is a skilled writer in both English and Hindi, bringing a creative flair to his work. He enjoys crafting satires and poetry and is dedicated to producing engaging and informative content.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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