The variation between lifeforms in not just limited to physical characteristics, but intrinsic qualities as well. One such intrinsic quality is how long an animal is pregnant. The period of pregnancy is called the gestation period. This article will look into the gestation period of deer or in simpler terms, how long are deer pregnant for?
This article will look into the gestation period of all the different species of deer ranging from the whitetail deer to the moose. The latter part of the article will have a table with all the other species of deer along with their gestation period in both days and months.
The gestation period of deer
We analyzed the gestation period of 34 different species of deer and the average that came up was 299 days. So, on average, the deer (with all different species) are pregnant for 299 days or about 10 months. This was the average value, what about the individual species?
Deers in North America
Let’s look at the gestation period of some of the common deer species in North America (the US, Canada, and Mexico). There are two native species of deer in North America; The whitetail deer and the Mule deer. There are some variations of these two species such as the Blacktail deer and the Florida key deer. The major deer in the US are the whitetail and the mule deer. The blacktail is a sub-species of the two.
- The whitetail deer or the white-tailed deer has a gestation period of 200-210 days or about 7 months.
- The mule deer also has a very similar gestation period of 205-210 days or about 7 months. These days can fluctuate a little bit but usually are within this range.
- The blacktail deer also has a very similar gestation period of 205-210 days or about 7 months. The similarity arises due to the fact these three species live in a similar climate (which affects reproduction in deer) and are derived from a common ancestor.
Coming to Canada, there are 5 species of deer found. Two of them are the whitetail and mule deer which we are familiar with. The other three are caribou, moose, and wapiti.
- The caribou, commonly called the Reindeer, has a gestation period of 222 days or about 7.4 months. The babies are cared for by the mother for another 6-months.
- Moose which is Canada is famous for around the globe (and maple leaves) has a gestation period of 243 days or a little over 8 months. Moose is also the largest deer species.
- Wapiti or the elk has the longest gestation period among all the deer species in North America. It has a gestation period of 260 days or almost 9 months (8.7 months).
Finally, the last stop in Mexico for North America. There are 4 native species of deer in Mexico. Two of them are the whitetail and the mule deer. The other two are the red brocket deer and the brown brocket deer.
- Red brocket deer is found in Mexico and looks like a normal deer without the spots. The gestation period lasts 225 days or 7.5 months.
- Brown brocket deer which looks exactly like red brocket deer but with a more earthy, brown shade has a gestation period of about 220 days or just a little over 7 months.
Deer in the UK
One would not think that there would be deer in the UK or much of Europe because when one thinks of the UK or Europe, wildlife is the last thing that comes to mind. There are six different species of deer in the UK; Roe deer, red deer, fallow deer, sika deer, the muntjac, and water deer.
- Roe deer has a gestation period of 290 days or almost 10 months. It is one of the longest gestation periods among all deer species.
- Red deer has a gestation period of 236 days or about 8 months.
- Fallow deer has a gestation period of 230 days or 7.6 months.
- Sika deer has a gestation period of 224 days or 7.4 months.
- Muntjac (Reeve’s Muntjac) has a gestation period of 214 days or 7 months.
- Water deer has a gestation period of 180 days or 6 months.
Other deer species around the world
There are over 43 different deer species in the world. While we cannot explain in detail about every deer species, we can add a table that has most of the species’ gestation period. Here is the gestation period of deer in Europe, Asia, and, South America.
|Species||Gestation period (days)||Gestation period (months)|
|Père David’s deer||286||9.5|
|Indian hog deer||220||7.3|
|Hairy fronted Muntjac||196||6.5|
|Little red brocket||232||7.7|
This was all about the gestation period of over 30 different species of deer in both days and months. Read more articles related to this topic: