World's smallest ungulates spotted in Vietnam after almost 30 years

12 Novembre, 2019, 12:25 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • A wild silver-backed chevrotain appeared! Image Credit SIE  GWC  Leibniz-IZW  NCNP

A very rare species of small, deer-like animal thought to be on the verge of extinction has been spotted in the northwestern jungle of Vietnam for the first time in almost 30 years. The plan worked. Researchers from Global Wildlife Conservation, working with the Southern Institute of Ecology, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, and the local community, captured 275 photos of the mouse deer, formally called the. According to the Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), these mammals are the world's smallest hooved animals.

In addition to the silver-backed chevrotain, GWC has confirmed the rediscovery of three additional species from its 25 most wanted lost species list: Jackson's climbing salamander in Guatemala, and both the Wallace's giant bee and the velvet pitcher plant in Indonesia.

The team discovered the species after speaking with local residents and forest rangers who reported spotting a grey chevrotain matching the animal's description.

The animal was first described in 1910 when four individuals were found near Nha Trang.

Camera-trap photo of silver-backed chevrotain (Tragulus versicolor). Wire snares are widely used in the region.

The last scientifically validated sighting was in 1990, when a hunter killed one and donated the specimen to scientists. They then placed three camera traps over a period of five months at locations in Southern Vietnam where the animal may have been seen.

"For so long this species has seemingly only existed as part of our imagination".

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There are 10 known species of chevrotain in the world, and chevrotain tend to dwell in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia.

"Go to a rainforest or a coral reef, or any of the wild places left on the planet, and we are simply over our heads, Seabird McKeon, an ecologist at the University of Central Florida, told Mashable earlier this year".

Scientists experienced thought the small creature, which experienced been between a record of 25 "most required" dropped species compiled by the World wide Wildlife Conservation, experienced fallen target to habitat decline and intense looking for the illegal wildlife trade. Also called the Vietnamese mouse deer, this animal weighs around 10 pounds and has two tiny fangs. Poaching is probably the more pressing issue of the to, so reducing snares is the first and very critical step in ensuring that we don't lose the species again. The species is believed to be endemic to Vietnam and was first depicted in the mid twentieth century and again in 1990.

According to Andrew Tilker, Asian Species Officer at the GWC, the biggest challenge in trying to rediscover the species was deciding where to start the search.

Tilker cautioned in a weblog submit nevertheless that "just because we found this species relatively easily doesn't mean it is not threatened".

The authors conclude that although the species can be thought of as "rediscovered" to science, the local surveys indicate that this species has not been considered lost among the people of this region.

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