The Dybowski's Sika was formerly found in Manchuria (China) , Korea, and the Russian Far East. They suffered badly during the Russian Civil War (1917-24) and again in the years of the Second World War. Today, with the loss of suitable habitat and over exploitation, the Dybowski's Sika is likely to be extinct in China and Korea. However, it is estimated a recovery to about 9,000 individuals living within they natural range of the sparsely populated areas of Primorsky Krai region north of Vladivostok. It is here they form an important part of the diet for the critically endangered Snow Leopard & Siberian Tiger. In the 1990's, visionary Mr Andy Cowan, recognised the commercial value and importance of preserving the species, began captive breeding program in Central Victoria. Beginning 2006, Hahndorf Venison extended our deer farming to include Sika at Highland Valley.
During 2016, our travel to the remote areas of the high Arctic Siberian Far East Russia included a visit to the Primorsky & Kharbarovsk regions. It is here we were fortunate enough to view this species in their genetically unpolluted home range. The good news is their Australian cousins are looking very similar.