Water Deer Essay

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CHINESE WATER DEER Reproduction: * The mating of the Chinese water deer is seasonal, usually lasting from autumn to early winter. * The male deer competes for the attention of the mature females, fighting with their canine-like tusks for the chance to mate. * Gestation period ranges from about 170 to 210 days, where most young are born in late May or June. The female Water Deer will usually give birth to 2-7 fawns whereas other species of deer will only have one or two. * After gestation, the female gives birth, often leaving her fawns and becoming solitary. The young fawns remain concealed in long grass or reeds for the first few weeks, emerging only when the mother visits to suckle it. * Lactation lasts several months while the male contributes nothing to the rearing of their offspring. * They reach maturity at 6-7 months and will remain with their group. Habitat: * The Chinese water deer can often be found living in China, North Korea and South Korea. They were also introduced and became wild in England and France. * They prefer habitats characterized by shrubs and small trees, and are commonly found around rivers, streams, swamps, marshes, reed-beds and coastal plains, often in tall protective reeds and grassland. Contribution to Ecosystem: * Chinese water deer tend to graze in hearty habitats such as marshes and reed beds and may also eat root crops when other food is scarce. This helps maintain the growth of plants and other vegetation. * Their ecosystem impact is low due to the fact that they sometimes cause damage to woodlands and crops. They also present road casualties which may lead to traffic accidents. * In the wild, the Chinese water deer is heavily hunted in order to obtain colostrum, which is sold for use in folk medicine. They are also hunted for their meat to be sold in

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