Fun Swamp Deer Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 10, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Entertaining Swamp deer facts for kids!

The swamp deer (Rucervus duvaucelii synonym Cervus Duvauceli) is a species of deer with long antlers. They are also known as Barasingha, which means "12 horns" in Hindi.

There are three subspecies of Barasingha found in India commonly known as Eastern Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii ranjitsinhii), hard-ground Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii branderi), and wetland Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii duvaucelii).

The Eastern Baarasingha (R D ranjitsinhi) is the smallest of the subspecies which is only found in Assam and has smaller tails and antlers compared to the others and has off-white hairs on the inner side of the ears differentiating them from the other subspecies.

Their antlers are flatter compared to other swamp deers and they have slender faces with pointed ears.

The hard-ground Barasingha (R D branderi) has a darker fur coat, distinguished neck ruff, and long antlers. These subspecies of swamp deers do not have their hooves spread out as the other two subspecies.

The wetland Barasingha (R D Duvaucelii) is the largest among the subspecies of swamp deers, with a white border accompanying their longer tails. These animals inhabit the flooded tall grasslands habitat regions.

If you liked these true facts about swamp Deer, then you'll surely like these facts about tufted deer and bearded seal too!

Swamp Deer Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a swamp deer?

The swamp deer (Rucervus duvaucelii), also known as Barasingha belongs to the family Cervidae (order Artiodactyla) is a majestic and handsome creature, found in grasslands and open forests of India and Nepal. These animals stand tall in a meadow and are often easy to spot thanks to their long antlers with 10-12 tines.

Their shiny brownish dense coat keeps them dry in the moist habitat.

In the winter seasons, their coat becomes heavier and turns darker in color. Earlier, these species were widespread in their natural habitat but due to a decline in their population because of overhunting, they are now found only in national parks and reserves.

What class of animal does a swamp deer belong to?

Swamp deers belong to the mammal class of animals. Having mammary glands to feed their young ones, the presence of the three ear bones, fur or hair, and the neocortex (region of the brain) are what qualifies swamp deers as mammals. In their range, these herbivorous animals control the plant communities by grazing.

How many swamp deers are there in the world?

The total population of the Barasingha around the world is less than 5,000 individuals with all of them spread across the regions of India and Nepal.

Where does a swamp deer live?

Swamp deers are native to Central, Northern India, and Nepal. In India, these animals are found distributed in small populations which range from Assam, Madhya Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh, Himalayas, Jamuna River, Brahmaputra River, to the Ganges river.

They are found in Kaziranga National Park, Dudhwa National Park, Kanha National Park, and Manas National Park.

What is a swamp deer's habitat?

These deers prefer open habitats and tall grasslands. These animals are found in the swampland and forest range of dry to evergreen trees and shrubs. During the summer season, swamp deers are found in the grassy floodplains near the reed beds and wooded areas.

Who do swamp deer live with?

Swamp deers (Rucervus duvaucelii; Cervus Duvauceli) are social animals. These species are found in a group of 5-20 individuals of similar sex and age.

How long does a swamp deer live?

Swamp deers have a lifespan of up to 20 years in the wild. With proper care and a healthy diet, their lifespan can be prolonged to up to 25 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of Barasingha deer starts in September and ends in April, during this period males will attempt to attract a large number of females, creating a harem for themselves. During the breeding season, stags will display and battle each other and produce a loud noise while sparring with each other for access to females.  

The sexual maturity for both males and females of these species is 2-3 years, with a gestation period of 240-250 days, resulting in the birth of a live single fawn.

The young fawn will be taken care of and protected by their mothers till they are 6-8 months of age, with the males taking no part in caring for the offspring.

What is their conservation status?

As per the IUCN Red List, the Barasingha deer is listed as a Vulnerable species. The deterioration of their natural habitat and illegally hunting them for their antlers have made their population decline. These endangered species are now found mostly in the conservation reserves of India and are bred in captivity in an effort to increase their populations.

Swamp Deer Fun Facts

What do swamp deers look like?

The Indian Barasingha is generally dense brown to bright orange in color, with a light brown belly and dirt white color inside the legs, under the tail, and rump, with females being paler than males. These animals have short and strong heads with long and broad ears. Their legs are high and strong with longer and broader hooves.

Swamp deer males are slightly darker and bulkier than females and have long woolly hairs around the neck with a dark dorsal stripe on both sides of their bodies. Swamp deer males have large antlers growing up to 39.3 in (100 cm) which resembles a crown, with the point focusing near the tip of the arching.

Swamp Deers can be found in tall grasslands

How cute are they?

Barasinghas, thanks to their docile nature, are gorgeous to look at and their calm and serene nature only adds to their cuteness! Fawns are playful and are absolutely cute to look at!

How do they communicate?

Male swamp deers spread their scent during the mating season to attract the available females and to indicate their presence to other males. Swamp deers produce bugles and barks to communicate with each other and also to alert others about the predators near them. This deer species will give out high-pitched and growling alarm calls.

How big is a swamp deer?

A fully grown swamp deer can grow up to 62.9-72.8 in (160 to 185 cm) in total length and 43.3-48.8 in (110 to 124 cm) tall at shoulder height. These animals are large in size when compared to other deer species.

How fast can a swamp deer run?

A swamp deer can run at a speed of 30 mph (48.2 kph) while escaping from predators.

How much does a swamp deer weigh?

The Indian Barasingha swamp deer (synonym Cervus Duvauceli) are large-sized animals, a male swamp deer is much bulkier than a female. A fully grown adult male is 330.6-617.2 lb (150-280 kg) in weight and an adult female can weigh up to 264.5-374.7 lb (120-170 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male barasingha is called a buck. Large males are also called stags, a female barasingha is called a doe.

What would you call a baby swamp deer?

Baby swamp deer are called fawns, these fawns have spots all over their body. The spots on their body help them to escape predators while working as a camouflage in the grass and these spots usually disappear once they are one year old.

What do they eat?

The Barasingha deer is a herbivorous animal due to their food habits, their diet consists of food like aquatic plants, leaves, and many types of grasses. During the summer season, these animals drink water at least twice a day and these endangered species will feed on grasses throughout the day till evening in the forest.

Are they dangerous?

Swamp deers, also known as grace deers, are not dangerous at all. These animals have been seen grazing unhindered with a speck of harmony and grace simultaneously with others. In Texas, these animals are hunted for sport and their antlers.

Would they make a good pet?

No, you can not keep the Barasingha swamp deer as a pet. Their large size and unique habitat requirement are major concerns for them to be kept as pets and it is also illegal to keep these species as pets because their conservation status is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

Did you know...

Swamp deers consume aquatic vegetation by dipping their head into the water. The Indian Barasingha deers are extraordinary swimmers and skilled jumpers.

Some other interesting deers include the key deer, fallow deer, killdeer, and the axis deer.

Jhilmil Jheel Conservation reserve is among the first conservation reserves of India, located on the left bank of the Ganges river in Chidiyapur Haridwar Forest Division of Uttrakhand. Swamp deers are the flagship species of this new conservation reserve.

In the Terai landscape of Nepal, there are almost 2400 individuals of swamp deers.

Marsh deers, which are sometimes also known as swamp deers, are the largest species of deer in South America.

Due to these species being listed as Vulnerable, hunting them will get you in a lot of trouble on the Indian Subcontinent.

What is the other name for the swamp deer?

The swamp deer is also commonly known as Barasingha Deer which implies "twelve-horned" in the native language of India. Barasingha swamp deer have antlers carrying more than three times compared to other deers, few adult stags have 10-14 tines.

Is the swamp deer endangered?

Swamp deers or the Barasingha are now considered a Vulnerable species according to the IUCN Red List because of their small population size all over the world. The reason for the decline in their population is poaching.

These animals are poached for their meat and antlers which are sold in the local market.

Human interference like the conversion of wetland into agricultural land by humans has reduced their former range causing habitat loss for them. The continuous change in the river dynamics of the protected habitat of these endangered species also makes it difficult for these animals to survive.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these weimaraner facts and Danish Swedish farmdog facts pages.  

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

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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