Forest, Wildlife & Environment Department Government of Gilgit-Baltistan

Musk Deer

About Musk Deer

Musk deer are primitive deer, not having antlers, but a pair of tusklike upper canines. Both sexes have well-developed upper canines, and in males these grow 7-14 cm (3-5 inches) long and protrude from the mouth in a fang-like manner. The canines are constantly growing, but, they are also easily broken, due to their mobility and fragility. It looks like a small deer with a stocky build, and hind legs longer than front legs. The general colour of the coat is a slightly grizzled dark brown. The ears are large and rounded, generally lined with whitish fur. The musk gland is found only in adult males. It lies in a sac located between the genitals and the umbilicus, and its secretions are most likely used to attract mates and mark the territory. Musk deer have been hunted for their scent glands which can fetch up to U.S. $45,000/ kg on the black market. It is rumoured that scent of the musk deer is an aphrodisiac.

Key Facts

common name
Tail Lenght
8CM - 20CM
140CM - 180CM
20KG - 80KG
12-13 YEARS

Musk Deer Features

Physical characteristics: Brown bear has furry coats in shades of blonde, brown, black, or a combination of these colors. The longer outer guard hairs of the brown bear are often tipped with white or silver, giving a ‘grizzled’ appearance. Their heads are large and round with a concave facial profile, a characteristic used to distinguish them from other bears. Like all bears, brown bears are plantigrades and can stand up on their hind legs for extended periods of time. Males are 40-50% larger than females. Brown bear is extremely strong and have good endurance; they can kill a cow with one blow, outswim an Olympian, and drag a dead elk uphill.

Habitat and Ecology: The Himalayan brown bear, a subspecies that represents an ancient lineage of the brown bear, is distributed over the Great Himalaya region. Seven populations of brown bears may exist in Himalaya-KarakoramHindu Kush ranges. All of these populations are small and declining, except for the Deosai population which is growing. The DNP has long been recognized as the main stronghold of brown bears in the country. Brown bears occupy a variety of habitats, from desert edges to high mountain forests and ice fields. The main habitat requirement is some area with dense cover in which it can shelter by day.

Threats: Recreational activities, Garbage and solid waste, illegal hunting, human disturbance, habitat loss, and competition for forage with domestic livestock.  

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