Mammal Identification

Red Deer Cervus elaphus

Identification features

Photo: Derek Whiteley

  • Large mammal with longs legs(standing 120cm excluding the antlers)
  • Males have large branching shaped antlers with spikey ends
  • Conspicous ears
  • Fur is a red-brownish colour all over, adults do not have spots
  • Tail is short and a beige colour
  • Rump is a white/creamy colour

Red deer have been recorded in Derbyshire in distinct herds in parks.

Other identification clues


During the rut (September to November) males can be heard 'roaring'.

Skulls and antlers

Photo: Debbie Court

The antlers are lost after the rut and can sometimes be found lying on the ground. They are much larger than those of other Derbyshire deer species.


Photo: Debbie Court

Red deer droppings are the largest of all the deer species. They are black in colour when fresh and have a cylinder shape with a point at one end and a dimple at the other.


Red deer tracks. Photo: Derek Whiteley

Status in Derbyshire information

Photos: Debbie Alston, Derek Whiteley