It occupies a habitat similar to that of the Chital of India: open dry and mixed deciduous forests, parklands, and savannas. It is a close relative of the larger sambar deer. It is moderately hunted in eastern Australasia.
Rusa deer have established populations in remote islands, probably brought there by Indonesian fishermen. They adapt well, living as comfortably in the dry Australian bush as they do in their tropical homelands. This trait is shown well in the more frequent encounters on the fringes of Wollongong and Sydney, and in particular in the Royal National Park, indicating steadily growing numbers and strong herds.
Javan rusa breed around July and August in a period known as the rut. At this time stags battle for dominance and breeding rights, contesting them by calling in a loud shrill bark and physical contact with the antlers. Calves are born at the start of spring. Maturity is attained in three to five years, depending on conditions and habitat.
^ abHedges, S., Duckworth, J.W., Timmins, R.J., Semiadi, G. & Priyono, A. (2008). Rusa timorensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 9 April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable.
^LONG JL 2003. Introduced Mammals of the World: Their History, Distribution and Influence (Cabi Publishing) by John L. Long (ISBN 9780851997483)