Leierhirsch Cervus eldi (M’Clelland, 1842)


English: Eld’s Deer or Thamin; French: Cerf d’Eld; Burmese: Tamin, Thameng; Manipur: Sangai, Sangrai, Sangnai; Tamil: man; Thai: La-oang, La mang.

Former distribution: Assam, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Kampuchea, Vietnam, Hainan Island.
Present distribution: The Vale of Manipur, parts of Thailand, Laos, Kampuchea, Vietnam and Hainan.
Behaviour: Preferred habitat: open grassy plains, swamps and deciduous forests in the vicinity of water; the adult males are solitary; the females live in small herds; diet consists mainly of grass, reeds and water plants. Rut takes place from the middle of March until the middle of May. Predators include tigers, leopards, dholes and crocodiles.
Population status: Endangered. Assam 15- 20. Threatened with extinction in Thailand and Vietnam. No information from Kampuchea, Laos or Hainan.
Brief notes:
Body weight: 95-120 kg
Head and body length: 100-170 cm
Tail length: 10-15 cm
Shoulder height: 110-120 cm
Gestation period: 7-8 months
Maximum age: No information
Trophy: Record SCI: 139 1/8 score, 1958 Vietnam, G.W. PARKER; average 70 score. RW’s: Cervus e. eldi: 39″, 1933 India, Lt. Col. H.S. WOOD. Cervus e. thamin: 163 1/4 points, 1956 Burma, E.T. GATES. Cervus e. siamensis: 58 1/8″, 1955 Kampuchea, BYRON ENGLE.
Hunting methods: Formerly with beaters. Eld’s Deer is protected by law.
Subspecies: 3
1. Cervus e. eldi Manipur in Assam. Endangered.
2. Cervus e. thamin Burma, western Thailand, and Tenasserim. Rare.
3. Cervus e. siamensis In parts of central Thailand, Laos, Kampuchea, western Vietnam, Hainan Islands. Probably rare. Numbers: No records.
Remarks: To prevent total extinction of these deer several reserves and parks have been established. Reasons for decline include poaching, forest clearances, aerial spraying with defoliants, effects of warfare and disturbance by increasing human population. Fortunately about 30-50 animals are kept in zoological gardens.