Eld's Deer | WWF

Eld's Deer

This species was thought to be on the brink of extinction in Cambodia. However, recent camera traps set by Wildlife Conservation Society showed there are a few herds in Preah Vihear province.

Eld's deer photographed in Stung Treng province, northern Cambodia, is one of the main indicator ... rel=
Eld's deer, caught on camera trap in Stung Treng province, northern Cambodia, is one of the main indicator species for the Lower Mekong Dry Forests Ecoregion.
© WWF / WCS / BirdLife / FA

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Key Facts

  • Common Names

    Eld's deer, brow-antlered deer, thamin

  • Scientific Name

    Rucervus eldii

  • Status

    Endangered (A2cd+3cd+4cd)


  • Geographic Location

    Southeast Asia

There are 3 sub-species of Eld's deer:
Rucervus eldii eldii: India.
Rucervus eldii thamin: Myanmar, westernmost Thailand
Rucervus eldii siamensis: Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Thailand, Viet Nam.

Physical Description
This medium-sized deer has a regal and graceful physique. Its legs are thin and long with a long body, large head and thin neck. The rough and course coat turns from reddish brown in summer to dark brown in winter.

Height: up to 110cm
Length: 150-180cm
Weight: up to 150kg
Antler length: 99cm

The deer's natural habitat is the dry, deciduous forests in the Northern and Northeastern Plains of the Dry Forests.

Population & Distribution
The population has declined by more than 50% over the last 15 years. Its current range is now limited to small localised areas within its former range. The Indian sub-species was thought to be extinct, but was rediscovered in the 1950s and there are now concentrated efforts to protect the species. There were similar concerns about Rucervus eldii siamensis, until it was caught on camera traps.

Given the species' habit of inhabiting open grasslands, especially near water, Eld's deer have been an easy target for hunters.

What is WWF doing?

WWF works througout the region to protect species and conserve important habitat. It works with local government and other regulatory authorities to control and monitor hunting and wildlife trade.

WWF Cambodia's partnership with Birdlife/WCS Cambodia and Cambodia's Department of Forestry and Wildlife led to the installation of camera traps which has been instrumental in determining population status.

Specific projects include:
Community Managed Eld's Deer Sanctuary

How you can help

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Did you know?

    • Some people believe that the deer was a source of food for the Khmer Rouge army during Cambodia 's civil war, which may have had a significant impact on populations.
    • the Eld's deer is named after a British Officer, Lt Percy Eld.

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