The Visayan spotted deer, scientifically known as Rusa alfredi, is an endangered nocturnal species primarily found in the rainforests of the Visayan Islands of Panay and Negros in the Philippines. It is one of three endemic deer species in the country and is characterized by its small size, distinctive beige spots, and cream underparts. With an estimated population of around 700 mature individuals, it is classified as an endangered species.

Locally called Lagsaw or Usa, these deer are exclusively found in the rainforests of the Visayan islands, inhabiting dense cogon grassland, primary and secondary forests, and areas affected by natural disturbances. They are known for their nocturnal behavior, being cautious and cryptic, often hiding in dense vegetation to avoid danger. The species is currently facing a decreasing population due to factors such as deforestation, hunting, and isolation, leading to conservation efforts such as captive breeding and protection programs to safeguard the remaining population.

Where to see the Visayan Spotted Deer

If you’re interested in observing the Visayan spotted deer, you can visit protected habitats such as Mt. Canlaon National Park, North Negros Forest Reserve, Southern Candoni, and West Panay Mountains. Some of these deer are also held in captivity in the Mari-it Conservation Centre in Panay and breeding centers in Negros, as well as in several European zoos.

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Additional Information

Read more about the animals in the Philippines.

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