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Sri Lankan axis deer, Ceylon spotted deer

Axis axis ceylonensis


Sri Lankan axis deer are active primarily during early morning and again during the evening, but they are commonly observed near waterholes anytime. The Sri Lankan axis deer eats primarily grasses, but it also eats fallen fruits and leaves. The Sri Lankan axis deer graze closely with langur, peacock, wild buffalo, and sambar deer. They usually lives in groups of between 10-60 animals, though herds may include up to 100 animals. Axis deer are important prey for the Sri Lankan leopard. It is also prey for sloth bears and jackals. Unlike the mainland axis deer (Axis axis) which is plentiful, Sri Lankan axis deer populations are considered to be vulnerable. Threats include hunting for meat and deforestation. Historically, axis deer were found in very large numbers in the entire dry zone of Sri Lanka, but these numbers have been significantly reduced. Today several thousands of these deer are found in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan axis deer are mainly found in protected areas in the dry zone, with a small number of herds living outside the protected forest areas. Large herds can be found only in protected areas.


Wilpattu National Park (Willu-pattu; Land of Lakes) is a park located on the island of Sri Lanka. The unique feature of this park is the existence of "Willus" (natural lakes) - natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. Located on the northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka. The park is located 30 km (19 mi) west Anuradhapura and 26 km (16 mi) north of Puttalam (approximately 180 km (110 mi) north of Colombo). The park is 1,317 km2 (508 sq mi) (131, 693 hectares) and ranges from 0–152 m (0–499 ft) above sea level. Nearly one hundred and six lakes (Willu) and tanks are found spread throurature is about 27.2 °C (81.0 °F). Inter-monsoonal rains in March and the northeast monsoon (December – February) are the main sources of rainfall.ghout Wilpattu. The annual Rainfall is about 1,000 mm (39 in) and the annual temperature is about 27.2 °C (81.0 °F). Inter-monsoonal rains in March and the northeast monsoon (December – February) are the main sources of rainfall.

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Spotted by

North Western Province, Sri Lanka

Spotted on Jul 16, 2016
Submitted on May 30, 2021

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