Mammal Species of the World Logo



SPECIES Cervus elaphus

Author:Linnaeus, 1758.
Citation:Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1: 67.
Common Name:Red Deer (see comments)
Type Locality:"Habitat in Europa, Asia"; identified as S Sweden by Thomas (1911a:151).
Distribution:N Africa in NE Algeria and Tunisia. All states of continental Europe east to S Norway, S Sweden, Ukraine and Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia); extinct in Albania, Moldavia, and Sicily; introduced but now extinct on Lampedusa Isl and islands off Sicily; in Corsica and Sardinia only since Neolithic; not in Finland; reintroduced into Belorussia, Estonia, Kaliningrad, Latvia, and Lithuania. Near and Middle East in Turkey, N Iran, and Iraq; extinct in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. C Asia in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan (extinct), Uzbekistan, N Afghanistan, N India (Kashmir Valley), N Pakistan (vagrant), east to Siberia, Mongolia, W and N China (Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Liaoning, Manchuria, Ninxia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, and E Tibet including Qinghai), Korea, and Ussuri region (Russia). Canada and USA, where now restricted to western areas and reserves. Red Deer (elaphus division) introduced to Morocco, USA, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand; Elk or Wapiti (canadensis division) introduced to Ural Mtns and Volga Steppe (Russia), and New Zealand.
Status:CITES Appendix I as C. e. hanglu; Appendix II as C. e. bactrianus; Appendix III (Tunisia) as C. e. barbarus. U.S. ESA Endangered as C. e. bactrianus, C. e. barbarus, C. e. corsicanus, C. e. hanglu, C. e. macneilli, C. e. wallichi, and C. e. yarkandensis; IUCN Endangered as C. e. yarkandensis, C. e. corsicanus and C. e. hanglu, Vulnerable as C. e. bactrianus, Lower Risk (nt) as C. e. barbarus, Data Deficient as C. e. affinis, C. e. alashanicus, C. e. macneilli, and C. e. wallichi, otherwise Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:European and North American populations are known as Red Deer and Elk (Wapiti) respectively; neither is suited as the name for the whole species; "maral", a Mongolian name widely used for Asiatic members of the species could be selected but is unlikely to be acceptable; for history and meaning of "maral", see Oswald (2002). Reviewed by Dolan (1988) and Geist (1998). Following Geist (1998) in part, subspecies modified from Groves and Grubb (1987) who recognised divisions of the species including nominate elaphus division or Red Deer sensu stricto (including also atlanticus, barbarus, brauneri, corsicanus, hispanicus, maral, pannoniensis, and scoticus), possibly paraphyletic wallichii division (primitive Wapiti alashanicus and kansuensis, Hangul hanglu, McNeill's Deer macneilli, Shou wallichii, and Bactrian or Yarkand Deer yarkandensis), and canadensis division or Elk (including also nannodes, songaricus, and xanthopygus). The name pannoniensis has priority over other names for SE European Red Deer (Banwell, 1997, 1998, 2002) though Oswald (2002) and V. Geist (in litt.) regarded pannoniensis as a synonym of maral; too many subspecies are recognised in the elaphus division but a definitive synonymy is not yet available. Retention of nannodes follows Schonewald (1994). Advanced North American Elk belong to a clade including C. nippon, Rusa timorensis and R. unicolor, of which the sister group consists of European Red Deer according to study of the mtDNA control region (Randi et al., 2001), so C. elaphus appears to be polyphyletic (supported by Kuwayama and Ozawa, 2000 but not by Mahmut et al., 2002). The work of these authors and A. Lister and I. Van Piljen (in litt.) distinguished western and eastern lineages in the species, the western lineage including atlanticus, corsicanus, elaphus, hanglu, cf. hippelaphus, hispanicus, and yarkandensis and the eastern lineage alashanicus, cf. kansuensis, macneilli, cf. manitobensis, nannodes, cf. nelsoni, cf. roosevelti, cf. sibiricus, songaricus, wallichii, and xanthopygus: the wallichii division appears to be paraphyletic, with alashanicus, macneilli, and wallichii affined to canadensis, and hanglu, and yarkandensis associated with nominate elaphus. Groves (2003) ranked hanglu and wallichii (and canadensis) as species separate from C. elaphus.



SUBSPECIES alashanicus

SUBSPECIES atlanticus



SUBSPECIES canadensis

SUBSPECIES corsicanus


SUBSPECIES hispanicus

SUBSPECIES kansuensis

SUBSPECIES macneilli



SUBSPECIES pannoniensis

SUBSPECIES songaricus

SUBSPECIES wallichii

SUBSPECIES xanthopygus

SUBSPECIES yarkandensis


  Bucknell Home Page   Biology Department Home Page


©Bucknell Univesity All Rights Reserved
Comments and questions to