Muntjac are the oldest but possibly the least studied and understood of all known deer species, prehistoric in origin with remains dated between 15 and 35 million years.
The population now found in most of southern England is the Reeves’ Muntjac (muntiacus reevesi) named after John Reeves, who was an inspector with The East India Tea Company in 1812. Introduction to England by the Duke of Bedford about 1900 is widely accepted as the source of our population.
Through a series of escapes and deliberate releases, together with their prodigious breeding, high numbers of Muntjac pose a serious threat to woodland management; eating almost any plant material that grows within their browse line which in turn impacts upon the natural habitat of many species of plants, insects and small birds. However, agricultural and forestry damage is less than with the other much larger species of antlered deer.