Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World's Smallest Deer Species Discovered By Wildlife Conservation Society

Date:
July 6, 1999
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
An adult deer measuring just 20 inches at the shoulder and weighing no more than 25 pounds has been confirmed through DNA testing as a new species, making it the world's smallest deer, according to a recent study led by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

An adult deer measuring just 20 inches at the shoulder and weighing no more than 25 pounds has been confirmed through DNA testing as a new species, making it the world's smallest deer, according to a recent study led by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The "leaf deer" or "leaf muntjac," which lives in remote mountain regions of Southeast Asia, was first seen by WCS biologist Alan Rabinowitz in 1997 during field surveys in northern Myanmar (Burma). After obtaining specimens from local hunters, Rabinowitz brought samples to New York for DNA analysis. The results of the genetic work, published in the recent issue of the journal Animal Conservation, confirmed the leaf deer as unique.

"Through DNA sequencing, we were able to determine that this particular species of mutjac was clearly distinct," said the study's lead author, Dr. George Amato, director for conservation genetics for WCS. "It's a very exciting discovery."

The study, a collaborative effort between WCS and the American Museum of Natural History's Molecular Systematics Laboratory, represents a relatively new approach to conservation biology, where molecular genetics dovetails with classic field biology to catalog unique wildlife living in some of the world's most remote areas.

Several new large mammal species have been discovered in Southeast Asia in recent years, particularly in the Annamite Mountains of Cambodia and Laos. This in turn has led to increased scientific research in the area. Myanmar, however, remained virtually unstudied by western science for decades, until WCS began surveys in this isolated nation in 1994.

"Perhaps the most important aspect of this discovery is that this new species of mammal was found in another region of Asia outside the Annamites," said Amato. "This highlights the importance of continuing rigorous biological surveys in relatively unstudied areas. The fact that wildlife, as well as the habitats themselves are currently disappearing at an alarming rate adds a sense of urgency to such research."

COPIES OF STUDY AVAILABLE.

PHOTO OF LEAF DEER AVAILABLE VIA INTERNET: http://www.wcs.org/leafdeer.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "World's Smallest Deer Species Discovered By Wildlife Conservation Society." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 July 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990706070307.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (1999, July 6). World's Smallest Deer Species Discovered By Wildlife Conservation Society. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990706070307.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "World's Smallest Deer Species Discovered By Wildlife Conservation Society." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990706070307.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins