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Cervus nippon keramae

Basic information
Scientific name Cervus nippon keramae (No picture)
Common names Ryukyu Sika Deer
Higher taxon Cervidae, Artiodactyla, Mammalia
Natural range None~ (This subspecies might originate from an artificially introduced population)
Habitat This subspecies occurs in wet grassland in evening for feed, and occurs in forest in other time.
Invasion information
Range in Japan Yakabi, Aka, Geruma, and Fukachi Is. in Kerama Islands, central Ryukyus. Range in Japan
Origin Kyushu, southwestern Japan
Date Early 17 C
Route Deliberate: Unknown. For food~ (A paleographic study suggested that the deer may be one of the viands for red-carpet treatment of emissaries from China)
Regulation in Japan This subspecies and its habitat is protected as the Natural Monument.
Introduced range in other countries
Reference Notes
  • Ogura et al. (2003) .A Case of Accidental Death of a Kerama Deer (Cervus nippon keramae) in Tokashiki Island. Jpn J Zoo Wildlife Med. 8(1), 55-62 (in Jpn with English abst)
  • Ohtaishi (1986) Preliminary memorandum of classification, distribution, and geographic variation on Sika deer. Mammal Sci. 53, 13-17 (in Jpn)
  • Tamate et al. (2000) .Genetic Differentiation among Subspecies of the Sika Deer (Cervus nippon), with Special Reference to the phylogeny of C. n. keramae in the Kerama Island Group. Tropics. 10(1), 73-78.
  • etc.
This subspecies may originate from an artifical introduction, and the small size may be an adaptation to the smal island environment. Paleographic studies suggested the age of introduction should be early 17 C. A genetic study using mitochondrial DNA sequences clarified that there is little genetic difference between this subspecies and Kyushu population of Cervus nippon.