DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionThe Javan Rusa is believed to be native only to Java and Bali in Indonesia (Corbet and Hill 1992, Heinsohn 2003, Grubb 2005). It has been introduced to many other islands of the Indo-Pacific region (Corbet and Hill 1992, Heinsohn 2003, Grubb 2005,Groves and Grubb 2011). Some introductions apparently took place in antiquity within present-day Indonesia, to the Lesser Sunda islands, Maluku (= Molucca) islands (including Buru and Seram), Sulawesi, and Timor. On Timor, the species inhabits both West Timor (part of Indonesia) and Timor Leste (G. Semiadi pers. comm. 2008, based on 1998 data). Indonesian islands with introduced populations include: Alor, Ambon, Banda, Batjan, Buru, Butung, Flores, Halmahera, Komodo, Lembeh, Lombok, Mangole, Muna, Papua, Sanana, Saparua, Seram, Sulawesi, Sumba, Sumbawa, Taliabu, Ternate, Timor, and Wetar (Wiradteti pers. comm.). Like many large deer, the Javan Rusa is an able swimmer (Kitchener et al. 1990), hindering determination of its native range. The originally introduced population in Borneo is now probably extinct (Payne et al. 1985, G. Semiadi pers. comm. 2008), but in the 1990s soldiers returning from Timor brought some Javan Rusas to at least the Tanah Grgot and Penajam Paser Utara districts in East Kalimantan. Hybridization of Sambar R. unicolor (which occurs naturally in Borneo) with the introduced Javan Rusas has been confirmed from molecular and morphology in one captive herd (221 heads) belonging to the East Kalimantan Province's Animal Husbandry Office at Penajam Paser Utara district (G. Semiadi pers. comm. 2008).
Javan Rusas were introduced to New Caledonia in the 1870s (Maudet 1999), and to Mauritius and Reunion Island in 1639. According to R.J. Safford (pers. comm. 2008) Runion received several introductions from Mauritius; the current population is derived mainly from five batches introduced in 1954. Also seven (individual) Red Deer Cervus elaphus were introduced from France; the final outcome with the latter (including any hybridization with Javan Rusas which may or may not have occurred) is unknown but nowadays 'deer' are not common on Runion, although they are still present in a few areas, and are a pest where they occur. Rodrigues holds no Javan Rusas, although there was a failed attempt to introduce them (Cheke and Hume 2008). Introductions have been made in the 20th century to New Zealand (1907, Fraser et al. 2000), Malaysia (1993/4), and to Brazil, Madagascar and Thailand (Maudet 1999). Javan Rusas were introduced to the Port Moresby region of Papua New Guinea from Java in 1900 (Maudet 1999) and a small population has persisted there and has spread north into the Owen Stanley Range with a herd near Wewak on the north coast; introductions to islands of the Bismarck Archipelago have either not persisted or are present in small numbers (Mammals of Papua 2009-2014). The first introductions to Australia were to Victoria (1868) and New South Wales (1890) (Maudet 1999) and wild herds of Rusas have spread to Queensland and South Australia (Moriarty 2004).
Javan Rusas of Moluccan origin were introduced to West Papua in the first quarter of the 20th century; their range now includes the southern coastal plains of New Guinea from the Gulf of Papua to the Fak-Fak Peninsula, and the Doberai Peninsula and foothills of the Foja Mountains in the north (Mammals of Papua 2009-2014).An introduction was probably attempted onto Anjouan, in the Comoros, in the 19th century, but Javan Rusa is long extinct there (Louette 2004). On Madagascar, Javan Rusas were introduced near Prinet (Andasibe) around 1930, survived until at least 1955 but is now extirpated, probably having disappeared in the 1960s (Goodman and Benstead 2003: 1172-1173). The distribution map shows only native populations on Java and Bali, not introduced populations. Introduced populations are not counted as part of this assessment.