Kakar / Barking Deer 


The Kakar or Brela deer (Muntiacus kajangensis) is a species of small deer native to South Asia, particularly found in India, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Lagos. They are usually found in dense forests, swamps, and grasslands.

The males of the species have a dark reddish-brown coat, while the females have a more dull, greyish-brown coat. Both males and females have white spots on their bodies, which help them to blend in with their surroundings.

Kakar males have long, pointed antlers that are curved forward and upward, and can reach up to 25 centimetres in length. They shed their antlers annually, and grow new ones in the following season. Females, on the other hand, do not have antlers.

Kakar deer are relatively small, with males weighing around 18-25 kg, while females weigh around 15-20 kg. They have short legs, a short tail, and a small head with large ears.

One of the unique characteristics of Kakar deer is their ability to leap and jump over obstacles. They are excellent jumpers and can jump over 2 metres in height, making them very agile and elusive prey.

Food Habits

Kakar deer are primarily herbivores, feeding on a variety of plants such as leaves, shoots, fruits, flowers, and grasses. They also consume bark and twigs during the dry season when other sources of food are scarce. In their natural habitat, they have been observed feeding on bamboo, ferns, wild berries, and various types of leaves.

Their feeding habits can have an impact on the local ecosystem, as they play an important role in dispersing seeds and promoting the growth of plants.


In India, Kakar deer are found in various states such as Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, and West Bengal. They inhabit dense forests, swamps, and grasslands, and are known to be particularly fond of bamboo thickets.

They are found in almost all of India. Barring the desert regions, they can be seen in the forests and swamplands. 

Vulnerable Species

The Kakar deer is considered to be a vulnerable species in India, as it faces a number of threats to its survival.

One of the main threats to Kakar deer populations in India is habitat loss and fragmentation due to human activities such as deforestation, agricultural expansion, and infrastructure development. This has led to a decline in the quality and availability of their habitat, making it more difficult for them to find food, water, and shelter.

Another major threat to the species is hunting, both for meat and for their antlers, which are highly valued in traditional medicine. Hunting pressure has increased in recent years due to the demand for bush meat and illegal trade in wildlife products.

Protected Areas

Manas National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and biosphere reserve located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Assam. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the Kakar deer.  

Namdapha National Park is the largest protected area in the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot and is located in Arunachal Pradesh. The park is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to several endangered species, including the Kakar deer. 

Dampa Tiger Reserve is located in Mizoram and is home to several rare and endangered species, including the Kakar deer. The reserve is known for its lush forests, waterfalls, and wildlife. 

Balphakram National Park is located in Meghalaya and is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including the Kakar deer. The park is known for its rugged terrain, deep gorges, and stunning waterfalls.

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