Cervus nippon mantchuricus
Ciervo sika de Manchuria (Sp).
DESCRIPTION (male) Shoulder height 38-43 inches (97-109 cm). Weight up to 240-250 pounds (109-113 kg). Females are smaller.The largest race of sika deer with the finest antlers. Antlers of 36-1/4 inches (92.1 cm) have been recorded from Russia (Rowland Ward, 1979), and of 34-1/2 inches (87.6 cm) from Manchuria (Rowland Ward, 1906). The summer coat is a rich chestnut-red with small white spots, turning deep brown on the body and bluish-black on the neck in winter, with the spots barely visible. There may be a vague dorsal stripe, the white rump patch is bordered with black, and the upper surface of the tail is reddish with a dark stripe. The antler velvet is reddish.
DISTRIBUTION Free ranging in parts of England, Scotland, Bohemia (Czech Republic) and Russia west of the Ural Mountains. Also kept in fenced game parks in various parts of Europe.
TAXONOMIC NOTES Most biologists now believe that the Manchurian sika and the Dybowski sika are the same animal, and label it C. n. hortulorum. However, Groves & Grubb use the name C. n. mantchuricus, rejecting hortulorum as having been described from a captive park specimen of unknown origin. The IUCN has elected to follow Groves & Grubb, and so have we.
REMARKS As stated earlier, we cannot be entirely certain of the racial purity of Manchurian sika deer in Europe. However, because of their much larger bodies and antlers, and their distinctive coloration, we think it is reasonable to treat them as such in the Record Book.