The Cervidae holds two subfamilies: the Old World deer of the Cervinae and the New World deer of the Capreolinae.Within the Cervinae sit two tribes: the Cervini (“true deer”) and the Muntiancini (muntjacs).
A summary of the more general aspects of the biology, ecology and behaviour of Britain’s deer species can be found elsewhere on this site.
Taxonomy: Deer classification is a contentious subject, with disagreement over where the animals sit in relation to other mammals (namely whether or not they should be grouped with the whales and dolphins) as well as how many species and/or subspecies should be formally recognised.
The Red deer has a long history in Britain – one of only two native deer species in the UK, it’s a beast highly prized by hunters, naturalists, artists, poets and photographers alike.
Renowned Scottish artist Archibald Thorburn summed up the situation nicely in his 1920 book .” That which follows is a summary of Red deer natural history.
Red deer, as we currently think of them, may actually be as many as three separate species, according to the cytochrome analysis performed by Christian Pitra and his colleagues published in the journal during 2004.