Sika stag in autumn

Sika deer

Sika deer are excellent swimmers, readily taking to water to escape predators. Surprisingly, this woodland deer is more than capable of swimming up to 12km in the sea. During the mating season, or rut, males make a loud whistling call that can be heard from 1km away. With their browsing, grazing and a liking for some crops, sika deer can be considered a serious pest. Native to Asia, they were introduced to parks in the UK in 1860, but escapees have established themselves in our countryside. Sika deer are considered to be sacred in Japanese culture.

Scientific name: Cervus nippon

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Japanese deer,
  • Spotted deer

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The Sika deer can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, China, Europe, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Sika deer distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Increasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Sika deer

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