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Red deer (Cervus elaphus) occupy Europe, Asia, the Caucasus regions, north Africa, Iran, and Asia (western and central). The subspecies of red deer include the Central European deer (C. e hippelaphus), Norwegian deer (C. e atlanticus), Scottish red deer (C. e scoticus), Spanish red deer (C. e hispanicus), Mesola red deer (C. e italicus), Corsican red deer (C. e corsicanus), Bactrian deer (C. e bactrianus), Yarkand deer (C. e yarkandensis), Barbary stag or Atlas deer (C. e barbarus), western European red deer (C. canadensis), Crimean red deer (C. e brauneri) and Caspian red deer (C. e maral).
The largest Iranian deer species, the Caspian red deer also known as noble deer, maral, and eastern red deerm is a subspecies of red deer which is the fourth-largest deer species. Recognized for its magnificent velvet antlers, the population of this subspecies has undergone drastic changes. The Cervus elaphus maral is native to the territories between the Caspian Sea and Black Sea. In the past, they inhabited the Zagros and the Alborz forests, but they are nearly eliminated from the Zargos neighborhood. The predecessor of the red deer appeared during the Miocene era in parts of Eurasia which can be deduced from fossil records and cave arts.
Keep reading this article for more interesting facts about the Capsian red deer.
Caspian red deer belong to the class of Mammal, family Cervidae, and genus Cervus.
The population of Caspian red deer is gradually decreasing due to hunting and poaching. Until 1930, this subspecies of deer has been hunted in Russia for its antlers which brought a major change to their population. From 1985 to 1994, the population dropped to only 800 Caspian red deer from 2500 in eastern Georgia but their current number is not listed.
The geographical distribution of red deer covers a large area including Europe, North Africa, Iran, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, and Chile. The red deer is believed to have an origin some 12 million years ago. The Caspian red deer is native to the Caspian area of Iran, Asia Minor, Caucasus mountains bordering Asia and Europe, and Crimea.
The habitat distribution of Caspian red deer covers the forested region of Zagros and Alborz, hence they prefer open forests and terrain. National parks, like the Golestan National Park, possess a mixture of forest and alpine habitat that is also considered a favored habitat of the maral deer.
Caspian red deer, except for the breeding season, can be spotted in a same-sex herd.
The average lifespan of a Caspian red deer in the wild is approximately 13 years and in captivity 20 years.
The Caspian red deer attains its sexual maturity when it turns two years old. The breeding season starts from August when the stags exhibit extremely competitive behavior. The process of mating is copulation and after mating successfully, the females give birth to one calf/fawn (very rarely two) after a gestation period of 240-262 days.
The Caspian red deer is considered to be a threatened species in Iran because of major population depletion in certain areas but the International Union for Conservation of Nature has Not Evaluated their conservation status, just like other subspecies including the Central European red deer, Scottish red deer, Mesola red deer, and Norwegian red deer.
The Caspian red deer is one of the biggest subspecies of red deer, inhabiting the areas of Caucasus, Asia Minor, and the western Caspian Sea. The size of a deer may vary according to the gender as females are comparatively smaller than the males. Males also have heavier neck muscles than female deer. Their average height is approximately 54 in (137 cm) and weigh 500-700 lb (230-320 kg). The color of their coat varies according to the season as in the summer, the coat is dark brown which changes to dark gray with the change of season. It also has unique antlers as the antlers of this subspecies can reach a length of 47 in (120 cm) in length which start developing during spring and shed during winter. The antlers are velvety as they are covered in extremely vascular skin to protect newly forming antlers.
* Please note that this is an image of a Spanish red deer, one of the other species of red deer. If you have an image of a Caspian red deer please let us know at [email protected].
This deer is a large subspecies with a calm temperament and unique impression. The babies are very cute, while the adults can appear intimidating because of the antlers.
The Caspian red deer is a nocturnal mammal and can be found in a same-sex herd for the majority of the year, except for the breeding season also known as ‘rut’. The males display competitive behavior and involve themselves in physical combat with other males to seize the attention of hinds. During the rut, the stags produce a unique roar to maintain the group of hinds because the females are persuaded by males with the loudest roar.
The Caspian red deer (Cervus elaphus maral) is a huge subspecies of red deer just like the European red deer of the Carpathian Mountains, which rival North American elk in size. The average size of a Caspian red deer is 54 in (137 cm) and the average size of a North American elk is 30-59 in (75-150 cm).
A red deer has an average speed of 72 kph (48 mph), however the particular speed of Caspian red deer is not listed.
The Cervus elaphus maral weighs 500-700 lb (230-320 kg) while other subspecies like a C. e corsicanus weighs around 220-240 lb (100-110 kg).
A male Caspian red deer is known as hart or stag, and a female is called hind.
A baby deer is called a calf or a fawn.
The Caspian red deer is an herbivore and survives primarily on leaves, grasses, and sometimes on mushrooms and berries.
Wild red deer are huge mammals, but there have been no such reports of them being hostile towards humans.
Red deer are frequently held captive for their meat and antlers. These are wild creatures, and keeping them in captivity for their meat and antlers is a cruel practice.
In winter, the light rum patch of red deer changes to a darker yellowish rump patch.
Red deer are native to some regions in Europe particularly in Scotland, Ireland, and England. The British Deer Society records their distribution and population every five years. The red deer was introduced to Australia in 1860 and to New Zealand in 1851 where they adapted quickly. The red deer introduced to New Zealand had an origin of either in Scotland or England, principally Warnham, Woburn Abbey, or the Windsor Great Park.
The wapiti or elk and the red deer belong to the similar family of Cervidae. Although both of them are large and resemble each other, they are not the same species. Red deer and elks were treated as the same species until 2004. After numerous researches and studies based on their DNA specimens, it was deduced that these two are two distinct species and elks are closer to Sika deer and Tharold’s deer.
Elk or wapiti (Cervus canadensis) is one of the largest species and it is even bigger than the red deer (Cervus elaphus) which is the fourth largest species. The elk has a myriad subspecies found in different regions of North America and Asia. The Roosevelt's elk (C. c roosevelti), Manitoban (C. c manitobensis), Tule elk (C. c nannodes), and Rocky Mountain elk (C. c nelsoni) are some of the extant subspecies inhabiting in North America while Merriam's elk (C. canadensis merriami) and the eastern elk (C. canadensis canadensis) are extinct subspecies. The Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus canadensis nelsoni) were introduced to Colorado in 1017 after the local herds were almost extinct. The Tianshan wapiti (C. canadensis songaricus) and Altai wapiti (C. canadensis sibiricus) inhabit Asia. In China, the Korean Peninsula, Mongoli, and Siberiam the Alashan wapitis (C. canadensis alashanicus) and Manchurian wapiti (C. canadensis xanthopygus) are found.
The red deer (Cervus elaphus) has 11 subspecies distributed in various regions. The Central European red deer or the common red deer which dwells in Central Europe and western Europe vary greatly from the Cervus canadensis in size. The deer’s of the Carpathian Mountains ( C. e elaphus) have a large body but small antlers and they are distinguished by their light rump patch and tail. The Asian red deer compared to the European red deer has a smaller tail. The Norwegian deer is small subspecies and can be found in Norway. The Scottish red deer is barely smaller than other western European red deer as a result of insular dwarfism and they inhabit the territories of Scotland, Ireland, and England. The Spanish deer can be discovered in the regions of the Iberian Peninsula and the Mesola red deer is restricted in the Bosco della Mesola Nature Reserve. The Corsican red deer is found in Sardinia and Corsica and the Bactrian red deer is from Afganistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and, Kazakhstan. Yarkand deer can be seen in Xinjiang and the Barbary stag is from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Finally, the Crimean red deer is from Crimea and the Caspian red deer is mainly from Iran and Asia Minor.
What tells apart the elks from the red deer (Cervus Elaphus) is not only the subspecies and size as both of these are large species but the Elks are significantly larger but also their coat and antlers. The coat of elk has a lighter shade that covers their body and a slightly darker shade covering their head. The antlers of the Elks are can be as heavy as 40 lb (18 kg) and possess six tines on each antler while in certain subspecies like the Corsican red deer the tines are absent, in the Western European red deerr antlers feature bez are relatively small and in Norwegian red deer, the bez tines occur frequently.
Yes, the Caspian red deer (Cervus Elaphus maral) is endemic as it is native to the regions of the Caspian Sea and Black Sea.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Caspian red deer coloring page.
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