Axis axis

Common Name(s)

Axis deer




Axis Deer live mostly in shrubland and forests with adajcent clearings near waterways. They graze in the morning and evening and rest during the day.


Axis deer have a reddish-brown coat with white spots (all ages, sexes and season) and a dark stripe from the nape to the tail (boarded by one/two lines of spots). They have slender tree-tined antlers.

Similar Species

Wapiti (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), Red deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus), Sika deer (Cervus nippon), Sambar deer (Cervus unicolor unicolor), Rusa deer (Cervus timorensis), Fallow deer (Dama dama dama), White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus borealis) and hybrids between some of these species.

Threat To Plants





Acromial height: 0,91-0,97m; weight: 68-82kg

Year Introduced


Reason For Introduction

Food and game

Colonisation History

First introduced to New Zealand to Goodwood Bush (between Oamaru and Palmerston) by the Otago Acclimatisation Society in 1867 (7 individuals). They increased to circa 100 individuals around the 1880s, but had been eradicated by settlers by 1890-95. Around 1900 further attempts were made to establish axis deer to Kapiti Island (2 individuals,1893), Tongariro National park (5 individuals, 1907) and on Dusky Sound (5-6 individuals, 1908). They have been no confirmed records and it is likely that axis deer possibly disappeared from New Zealand already before 1920.