Bukharan Deer | Online Record Book Preview
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Bukharan Deer - Species Detail
Cervus elaphus bactrianus
Ciervo de Bujara (Sp), Bucharahirsch (G), Cerf de Boukhara (F). Also called Bactrian deer, Bukharan (or Bactrian) red deer or Bukharan (or Bactrian) wapiti. "Bukharan" is sometimes spelled Bokharan.
DESCRIPTION (male) Shoulder height about 47 inches (120 cm). Weight 440-500 pounds (200-225 kg).
Somewhat smaller than other elaphine deer. Overall color is fawn-brown in summer, turning a dull light gray in winter with the neck and legs darker. The rump patch resembles that of a red deer, being narrow, reddish above and lighter below. The rump patch is separated from the body color by darker edging, and bisected by the tail, which is wholly dark. Lips and chin are a dingy white. Antlers are medium-sized, usually five-tined with a terminal fork rather than a crown, but occasional stags have 6-7 points on a side. The two best heads of record had antler lengths of 40-1/2 inches (102.9 cm) and 40 inches (101.6 cm), respectively, (Rowland Ward, 1968, 1902).
DISTRIBUTION Native populations are now limited to the tugai forest of the Syr Darya (Jaxarte) river valley in Kazakhstan and eastern Uzbekistan, and the Amu Darya (Oxus) river valley in Turkmenistan and adjoining parts of northern Afghanistan. Has been transplanted to the Karachinguil Reserve in eastern Kazakhstan, and perhaps also elsewhere.
BEHAVIOR Gregarious. Feeds evening and morning, rests during midday. In contrast to wapiti and red deer, it is never encountered in hilly regions. Inhabits only a narrow strip of dense vegetation along rivers. An extremely strong swimmer, it will tackle fast-flowing rivers when in flood, crossing from Afghanistan to Turkmenistan, or the reverse, sometimes in large groups that include juveniles. Swims with such speed it cannot be overtaken by a rowboat. Breeds mid-September through October, with usually a single calf born in May or June.
STATUS Its numbers have declined greatly, mainly from destruction of habitat, increased human settlement and agricultural development. Flerov listed the tiger as its principal predator, with wolves and floods also causing casualties. Protected by law in its natural range in Kazakhstan. Breeds well in captivity. Listed as endangered by the USF&WS (1979) and the IUCN.
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