One of the most renowned and main types of deer in Sri Lanka, the mouse-deer is also referred to as the chevrotain or the Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain. Occasionally, zoologists also refer to this creature as the white-spotted Chevrotain. A closely related and extremely similar species known as the Indian spotted chevrotain is found in India. This article features the Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain or the mouse-deer of Sri Lanka. It should be mentioned that the term “chevrotain” is original from French and it simply means “little goat”.
It should be noted that the appearance of the Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain is similar to the appearance of the deer but its physical dimensions are extremely small as opposed to a common species of deer. Furthermore, these creatures do not possess any horns and its name of “mouse-deer” originated because its appearance, especially that of the face, is slightly similar to that of a mouse.
Habitat and Environment
The Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain is mostly inhabits the dry zone region of Sri Lanka but it is also found in certain areas of the wet zone. However, according to the IUCN, these animals are endemic to the dry zone of the country. The national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of Sri Lanka are one of the most ideal places to get a glimpse of these creatures.
Scrublands and plains with grass and small trees are the geographical features in which these species are found. The Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain is common in forests throughout the dry zone of Sri Lanka, both inside and outside protected areas (P. Fernando, 2008).
Lifespan and Reproduction
The female chevrotain typically produces two offspring and the gestation period can be as long as five months.
Behaviour and Feeding
The diet of the Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain includes plants but it has been discovered that it also feeds on insects as well as small fish. The behaviour of these animals include activity throughout the day and night. Herds of these animals are uncommon as they live as isolated individuals or as pairs.
Cultural and Conservation Status
The Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain enjoys a conservation status of “Least Concern” according to the ICUN. The foremost reasons for this are the widespread habitat of the species.
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