Timor-Sambar Cervus timorensis (De Blainville, 1822)


English: Rusa Deer or Timor Deer; French: Sambar de Timor; Indonese: Rusa; Malay: Kullay marn.

Former distribution: As now.
Present distribution: Java, Timor, Molucca Islands, Celebes Islands, Muna and Buron Islands, Flores and Lomboc Islands. Introduced into Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and New Guinea; Mauritius, Madagascar, Comores, England.
Behaviour: Preferred habitat: open woodlands and forests, grass plains; they live singly, in pairs or in small herds; feed on grass and herbs; activity predominantly nocturnal; predators include wild dogs, tigers and leopards.
Population status: Stable. Java: 10 000; on other islands: no records.
Brief notes:
Body weight: 150-200 kg
Head and body length: 120-200 cm
Tail length: 15-25 cm
Shoulder height: 100-115 cm
Gestation period: 7-8 months
Maximum age: 18 years
Trophy: Record SCI: 117 3/8 score, 1969 Java, GEORGE W. PARKER; average 90 score.
Hunting methods: Stalking, with beaters.
Subspecies: 6
1. Cervus t. timorensis Timor, and introduced into the Hermit and Ninigo Islands, (Bismarck Archipelago). Stable.
2. Cervus t. moluccensis Molucca Islands. Stable.
3. Cervus t. macassaricus Celebes Islands. Stable.
4. Cervus t. djonga Muna and Buron Islands. Stable.
5. Cervus t. floresiensis Flores and Lombok Islands; Komodo and adjoining Islands. Stable.
6. Cervus t. russa Java, Bali. Stable.
Remarks: Cervus t. russa was introduced into south-eastern Borneo, the Dutch colonies, Mauritius, Comores and Madagascar during the 17th century. All subspecies should be re-examined due to the fact that many of them were reintroduced into different islands, and interbreeding took place.