Sunday, August 5, 2012

Spotted Deer - Sri Lanka

A Photograph of a Spotted Deer taken in Wilpattu, Sri Lanka
Spotted Deer (Axis axis) - Wilpattu, Sri Lanka

The Spotted Deer found in Sri Lanka is said to be a sub-species(ceylonensis) of the Deer found throughout South Asia (this is disputed as the Axis axis is said to be monotypic). They are a prey species for Leopards, Sloth Bear and Jackal.

More photographs inside.

A Photograph of a Spotted Deer taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Spotted Deer (Axis axis) - Yala, Sri Lanka

Herds of Spotted Deer, usually numbering from 10-60 animals but sometimes up to a 100 individuals, can be found grazing on the open plains of the dry zone national parks. I didn't see any large herds of deer in either of the national parks that I visited but I'm not sure if that's because herds have shrunk in size or because drivers in the parks are obsessed with Leopard and don't bother looking for other animals.

A Photograph of a Spotted Deer taken in Wilpattu, Sri Lanka
Spotted Deer (Axis axis) - Wilpattu, Sri Lanka

The species is said to be vulnerable due to habitat loss and poaching. Large herds of deer can only be seen in the dry zone national parks. Smaller groups can be seen outside protected areas. The deer are most active in the early hours of the morning and in the evenings when the heat of the day subsides.

A Photograph of a Spotted Deer taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Spotted Deer (Axis axis) - Yala, Sri Lanka

These photographs were taken in both Yala and Wilpattu on my last trip to Sri Lanka. All photographs on this page were taken with a Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens. The evening light was sufficient for me to shoot at a relatively low ISO. I was at the back of a Land rover when I took these photographs.








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