winter CLOSURE

The Réserve Zoologique de la Haute-Touche (Haute-Touche Animal Reserve) will reopen on April 3, 2021.

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Cerfs de Duvaucel © MNHN - F-G Grandin

Barasingha

Barasingha, Rucervus duvaucelii branderi, can be found in the marshlands of northern India where it can move with ease thanks to its hooves which are suited to walking on wet ground.

Profile

Classe, order & family :

Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla, Cervidae

Genus :

Rucervus

Species :

duvaucelii

Subspecies :

branderi

Lifespan :

20 years

Height and weight :

1.20 m at the shoulder; 200 kg at the most

Gestation :

8 months, one baby

Natural habitat :

marshy plains

Diet :

grasses, aquatic plants

Native region :

India

IUCN status: 

VU, vulnerable

Way of life

The females, accompanied by their fawns, form herds which are headed by an alpha. The size of the herds depends on the season: they are larger during the dry season and disperse during the rainy season. The males, who are solitary, bellow like a donkey and, during the rut, compete to form harems of up to 30 females. In the event of danger, they emit shrill alarm calls.

Distinguishing features

Also known as the swamp deer, the Barasingha has a beautiful orangey fawn coat which turns grey-brown in the winter during the moulting period. Females tend to be paler than the males. Its broad hooves are suited to walking on wet and marshy ground. It can completely submerge itself in order to feed on aquatic plants.

Its antlers can measure up to 75 cm.

Anecdote

Its specific name was given to it by Cuvier to commemorate the French naturalist Alfred Duvaucel (1793-1824).

The Barasingha is in danger of extinction, particularly because of industrial development and drainage of wetlands, with populations being isolated from one another. It is also hunted if it is found to be destroying crops. It is now found almost exclusively in a handful of reserves. Those resident at Haute-Touche are part of the breeding groups for the breeding programme which is ultimately aimed at reintroduction.

Cerfs de Duvaucel © MNHN - F-G Grandin
Cerfs de Duvaucel © MNHN - F-G Grandin
Cerfs de Duvaucel © MNHN - F-G Grandin
Cerfs de Duvaucel © MNHN - F-G Grandin
Cerfs de Duvaucel © MNHN - F-G Grandin