Cervus nippon Temminck, 1838

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English Sika deer ISEIA: B1 – Watch List
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Report the species

Report Cervus nippon to the National Museum of Natural History.

Brief description

Cervus nippon Temminck, 1838 is found in dense woodland and scrub, including the thicket stages of coniferous forests and adjacent open ground. The population of the species is increasing and expanding in several European countries. Sika can build up higher densities than red dear and can cause great environmental and economic damage to forests and wetlands. Hybrids with the native congeneric red deer are fertile, and further hybridisation or back-crossing to either parental type is rapidly threatening the genetic integrity of the native species. Sika are often reported to be better competitors than native deer species (e.g. roe deer) (Branquart et al. 2013).

Status and distribution in Luxembourg

Distribution map of Cervus nippon Temminck, 1838 in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2020-01-27.

The presence of Cervus nippon Temminck, 1838 in Luxembourg was first documented in December 2012 in the valley of the river Our near Stolzembourg, municipality of Putscheid (Cellina & Schley 2014; MNHNL 2000-). In 2013, three Sika deer were sighted near Bivels (Naturverwaltung 2014).

Supposedly the Sika deer migrated to north-eastern parts of the country after escaping from a deer park in Gemünd (Germany). In order to avoid hybridisation with red deer (Cervus elaphus), an eradication of the individuals found in Luxembourg is recommended.

Risk assessment

ISEIA protocol: B1 (3+2+3+1) = Watch List (Ries et al. 2014: 199).


  • Branquart, E., A. Licoppe, G. Motte, V. Schockert & J. Stuyck, 2013. Harmonia database: Cervus nippon Temminck, 1838. Harmonia version 1.2, Belgian Forum on Invasive Species. URL: http://ias.biodiversity.be [accessed on 2019-10-24]
  • Cellina, S. & L. Schley, 2014. Premières observations du cerf sika (Cervus nippon) au Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 115: 193-194. [PDF 100 KB]
  • MNHNL, 2000-. Cervus nippon Temminck, 1838 in Recorder-Lux, database on the natural heritage of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg. URL: https://mdata.mnhn.lu [Accessed 2019-10-24]
  • MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2019. Cervus nippon Temminck, 1838 in MNHNL-mdata, online portal combining species observation from Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist and GBIF. National Museum of Natural History, Luxembourg. URL: https://mdata.mnhn.lu [Accessed 2019-10-24]
  • Naturverwaltung , 2014. Bulletin technique de l’Administration de la nature et des forêts en matière de gestion de la faune sauvage et de chasse, numéro 3 (2014), 72 pp [http://www.environnement.public.lu/chasse/publications/bulletintechnique3/index.html].
  • Pir, J.B. & L. Schley, 2015. Développement des connaissances sur la répartition et l’écologie des mammifères au Luxembourg entre 1990 et 2015. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 116: 437-455.
  • Ries, C., M. Pfeiffenschneider, Engel, E., J.-C. Heidt & M. Lauff, 2014. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of vertebrates in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 115: 195-201. [PDF 247 KB]

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-27. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-27.