Central Asian red deer
Bukhara Deer stag at Speyside Wildlife Park - geograph.org.uk - 1002574.jpg
Captive stag in Speyside Wildlife Park, United Kingdom
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Cervinae
Genus: Cervus
C. hanglu
Binomial name
Cervus hanglu
Wagner, 1844

The Central Asian red deer (Cervus hanglu), also known as the Tarim red deer is a deer species native to Central Asia, where it used to be widely distributed, but is scattered today with small population units in several countries. It has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2017.[1] It was first described in the mid-19th century.[2]


The Central Asian red deer's fur is light ginger in colour.[2]


The scientific name Cervus hanglu was proposed by Johann Andreas Wagner in 1844 for a deer specimen from Kashmir that differed from the red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the shape and points of the antlers.[2] In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the following red deer specimens from Central Asia were described:

In 1951, John Ellerman and Terence Morrison-Scott recognised all these specimens as subspecies of the red deer.[8] In 2005, Peter Grubb also considered the proposed taxa as subspecies of the red deer.[9]

IUCN Red List assessors provisionally recognised its status as a distinct species in 2017;[1] The Central Asian red deer is thought to comprise three subspecies:


An analysis of mitochondrial DNA of 125 tissue samples from 50 populations of the genus Cervus included two samples from Tajikistan and three from western China. The results supported the classification of the red deer populations in Central Asia as two distinct red deer subspecies.[10] Results of a subsequent phylogenetic analysis of Cervinae tissue samples indicated that deer samples from Central Asia form a distinct clade and warrant to be raised to species level.[11] The Central Asian red deer group appears to have genetically diverged from the European red deer group during the Chibanian period between 770,000 and 126,000 years ago.[12]

The first phylogenetic analysis using hair samples of the deer population in Dachigam National Park in Jammu and Kashmir was published in 2015. Results showed that these samples form a subcluster within the Central Asian red deer group; they are genetically closer to this group than to the European red deer.[13]


  1. ^ a b c Brook, S.M.; Donnithorne-Tait, D.; Lorenzini, R.; Lovari, S.; Masseti, M.; Pereladova, O.; Ahmad, K.; Thakur, M. (2017). "Cervus hanglu". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T4261A120733024. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T4261A120733024.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Wagner, J.A. (1844). "Der Bahra-Singha". In Schreber, J.C.D. (ed.). Die Säugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur, mit Beschreibungen. Vol. Supplement 4. Erlangen: Expedition des Schreber'schen Säugthier- und des Esper'schen Schmetterlingswerkes. pp. 351–353.
  3. ^ Adams, L. A. (1858). "Chapter X". Wanderings of a naturalist in India : the western Himalayas, and Cashmere. Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas. pp. 176–207.
  4. ^ Blanford, W.T. (1892). "Exhibition of, and remarks upon, two heads and a skin of the Yarkand Stag". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 116–117.
  5. ^ Lydekker, R. (1900). "On an Unnamed Species of Cervus from Turkestan". The Annals and Magazine of Natural History; Zoology, Botany, and Geology. 7. 5 (XVI): 195–196.
  6. ^ Lydekker, R. (1902). "Exhibition of, and remarks upon, a mounted head of a Siberian Wapiti". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 2 (June): 79.
  7. ^ Shitkow, B.M. (1904). "Ueber einen neuen Hirsch aus Turkestan" [On a new deer from Turkestan]. Zoologische Jahrbücher (in German). 20: 91–104.
  8. ^ Ellerman, J.R. & Morrison-Scott, T.C.S. (1951). "Cervus elaphus, Linnaeus 1758". Checklist of Palaearctic and Indian mammals 1758 to 1946 (First ed.). London: British Museum (Natural History). pp. 367–370.
  9. ^ Grubb, P. (2005). "Cervus elaphus". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 662–663. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  10. ^ Ludt, J.C.; Schroeder, W.; Rottmann, O. & Kuehn, R. (2004). "Mitochondrial DNA phylogeography of red deer (Cervus elaphus)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 31 (3): 1064–1083. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2003.10.003. PMID 15120401.
  11. ^ Pitra, C.; Fickel, J.; Meijaard, E. & Groves, C. (2004). "Evolution and phylogeny of old world deer" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 33 (3): 880–895. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.07.013. PMID 15522810.
  12. ^ Lorenzini, R. & Garofalo, L. (2015). "Insights into the evolutionary history of (Cervidae, tribe Cervini) based on Bayesian analysis of mitochondrial marker sequences, with first indications for a new species". Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. 53: 340–349. doi:10.1111/jzs.12104.
  13. ^ Mukesh; Kumar, V.P.; Sharma, L.K.; Shukla, M. & Sathyakumar, S. (2015). "Pragmatic perspective on conservation genetics and demographic history of the last surviving population of Kashmir Red Deer (Cervus elaphus hanglu) in India". PLOS ONE. 10 (2): e0117069. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117069. PMC 4324630. PMID 25671567.