Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens
AG Säugetierkunde in NRW
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The Sika Deer is native to East Asia (Siberia, China, Vietnam) as well as in Japan. It is closely related to the Red Deer and in enclosures where both species were kept together occasional mating between them occurred.
Sika Deer are of a compact build and noticeably smaller than Red Deer. The maximally developed antlers have rarely more than eight points. In the summer especially the fur of the female animals is red-brown and clearly spotted, and the bucks can be quite dark and unspotted in winter. The rutting period occurs later than in the Red Deer. Sika Deer do not roar: The mating call is a characteristic whistling tone.
Especially because of their antlers, which are considered a traditional remedy in their original area of distribution, for along time not just hunted close to extinction but was frequently traded and kept in enclosures so that a differentiation into subspecies hardly made sense. All the more it is not possible to assign the Sika Deer as imported, as enclosure animals in Germany with certainty to a recognized species.
There are two occurrences in NRW, which are the descendants of escaped captive deer. The Sika Deer in Nippon the Arnsberg Forest correspond to the nipponoid type, meaning that they are derived from imports from Japan, where the species is notably smaller than the north of the mainland area of distribution. The Sika Deer in the Weser Mountain Region of Höxter County are probably a hybrid between the Japan-Sika Deer and the Easter Siberian Dybowksi Deer.
Ernst Eick und Henning Vierhaus
Eick E, Vierhaus H (2023): Sikahirsch (Cervus nippon).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/26