TAXONOMY
Moschus moschiferus Linnaeus, 1758, southwestern Siberia, Russia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Porte-Musc; German: Moschushirsch; Spanish: Ciervo almizclero.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
Body size: 24–39 in (60–100 cm); tail size: 1.2–2.Four in (3–6 cm); weight: 18–36 lb (8–16 kg). General colour of the coat varies from darkish brown to grizzly brown. They have fuzzy whitish yellow spots on neck and chest, with rows of brighter spots on each side of the physique. Observers use these spot patterns to distinguish one animal from one other. A light-weight-colored band goes beneath neck to divide the chest. Newborns have thick sample of yellowish spots. At the start of winter after shedding, calves get hold of widespread colour; although spots on their pores and skin look brighter. Adult coat seems by their second winter.

DISTRIBUTION
Inhabit a large space in japanese Asia from the border of the forest zone on the north (71°N) to Hindu Kush and Himalayan areas of Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, and India to the south, and from the Altai Mountains eastward to the shores of Japan Sea and Okhotsk Sea.

HABITAT
Two elements are vital to their habitats: considerable tree lichens for fodder and shelter from predators. They inhabit darkish coniferous forests with wealthy undergrowths and floor moss cowl; in gentle coniferous forests (larch), and typically in coniferousbroadleaf forest. Solitary rocks or rock promontories are vital. Sometimes, there is just one such level for all deer within the space.

In winter, they escape to areas with snow cowl deeper than 23.6–27.5 in (60–70 cm). Due to their low weight and peculiar hoof construction (footing on all 4 fingers), they exert low stress on snow, which is why they transfer simply on crusted snow surfaces. Deep and free snow impedes their motion and causes mortality.

BEHAVIOR
Usually 5 to seven females, some with fawns, make a commune and their particular person house ranges are overlapped by the house vary of a dominating male. The stronger a feminine, the extra central place within the commune space it occupies. As previous animals perish, youthful ones transfer nearer to the middle. Home ranges of males by no means overlap; the male marks his house vary. There are seven to 10 latrines at every house vary, every used many occasions by a number deer. Latrines serve additionally as vital territory marks.

Musk deer are nocturnal, largely energetic in twilight and at evening. Daily house vary reaches 4.9–24.7 acres (2–10 ha). To escape from predators, musk deer can leap 16.4–19.6 ft (5–6m), touchdown to all 4 legs, in addition to leap and switch within the air 90°. These deer are very vigilant and spend some 55% of feeding time listening for hazard. Once approached, they rush away; when chased, they use many methods to escape. Predators are yellow-throated marten, lynx, wolverine, much less wolves and foxes.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Arboreal lichens and a few terrestrial bushy lichens are their most important food sources (greater than 80% of the eating regimen) in winter, in addition to fir needles (both larch or pine needles, relying on sort of coniferous forest), and twigs, leaves, dry cereals, berries, and mushrooms. Food is out there on the snow floor and on tree branches; they'll additionally dig within the snow for food. To attain lichens, an animal can stretch up to 55 in (140 cm). When snow is heavy, musk deer, in any other case sedentary, have been noticed to migrate up to 20 mi (35 km) for food. Lichens are continuously consumed in summer time as a treatment to assist digest inexperienced herbaceous vegetation. Also in summer time, they feed on forbs, leaves, flowers, moss, shoots, twigs, and grass. Their day by day enter is 5.6–9.Three oz (160–265 g) of forage.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY
Polygamous. Rut happens in November–December; calving in April–May within the Amur basin or in June in Yakutia.

CONSERVATION STATUS
Vulnerable. Subspecies ( M. m. sachalinensis) inhabiting Sakhalin Island is in probably the most troublesome place. In Russia, M. m. sachalinensis is Endangered. According to 1997 estimations, there have been about 50,000 M. m. moschiferus, 5,000 M. m. parviceps, and 300 M. m. sachalinensis.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
An vital looking species.


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