Red Deer

Cervus elaphus

  1. Wildlife
  2. Mammals
  3. Red Deer


Our largest deer, males have large, branching antlers, increasing in size as they get older. During the autumnal breeding season, known as the 'rut', males bellow to proclaim their territory and will fight over the females, sometimes injuring each other with their sharp antlers. Red Deer live on moorland and mountainsides, as well as grasslands near to woodland. They can be seen in deer parks throughout the country.

How to identify

Red Deer are dark russet-brown in colour, with a paler buff rump patch and a pale tail. Look out for herds of large, sturdy deer with branching antlers.

Where to find it

Common in Scotland. Also found in the Lake District, Exmoor, the New Forest and Thetford Forest.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Cross-breeding with Sika Deer is thought to pose a threat to our native Red Deer. But Red Deer in excessive numbers can cause damage to natural vegetation and prevent woodland regeneration by eating young shoots and leaves from newly-coppiced or growing trees. The Wildlife Trusts are working hard to restore our native woodlands; why not join us and have a go at volunteering? You'll make new friends, learn new skills and help wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Red Deer
Latin name
Cervus elaphus
Length: 1.7-2.6m Height: 1.2m at the shoulder Weight: 100-340kg Average lifespan: 16-18 years
Conservation status