Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Camera-shy Deer Caught For First Time

Date:
July 25, 2007
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
A little-known species of deer called a large-antlered muntjac has been photographed for the first time in the wild. The deer, previously known only from specimens collected by hunters and a few fleeting glimpses by biologists, stands approximately 25-30 inches tall (65-80 cm) and weighs up to 110 pounds (50 kilograms).

Large-antlered muntjac (Muntiacus vuquangensis) photographed for the first time in the wild.
Credit: Copyright 2007 Nam Theun 2 Watershed Management and Protection Authority

A little-known species of deer called a large-antlered muntjac has been photographed for the first time in the wild, according to a survey team from the Nam Theun 2 Watershed Management and Protection Authority (WMPA) and the Wildlife Conservation Society. The deer, previously known only from specimens collected by hunters and a few fleeting glimpses by biologists, stands approximately 25-30 inches tall (65-80 cm) and weighs up to 110 pounds (50 kilograms). Its namesake antlers are significantly larger than other muntjac species found in Indochina.

The photographs were taken using "camera traps" set in Laos' Nakai Nam Theun National Protected Area (NNT NPA), in the Annamite Mountains. This densely forested mountain chain straddles the Laos-Vietnam border and is considered one the world's biodiversity 'hotspots.' The cameras were set by staff of the WMPA, a new institution established by the Lao government to manage the more than 1,500 s quare miles of (4,000 square kilometer) protected area, using revenues from the nearby Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric dam, currently under construction.

The protected area forms most of the dam's watershed, and is the largest protected area in Laos or Vietnam. The camera traps were set and monitored by teams (including local villagers) trained by the Wildlife Conservation Society, which has been contracted by the WMPA to help establish a biodiversity monitoring program to evaluate the effectiveness of its conservation efforts.

Mr. Sangthong Southammakoth, Executive Director of the WMPA, said "We are very excited about these photos. They show the global significance of the Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area, and reinforce the importance of our work."

Along with several photographs of large-antlered muntjacs was a single photograph of the Annamite striped rabbit, one of the world's rarest and least-known members of the rabbit/hare family. Both species are found only in the Annamites. The large-antlered muntjac was discovered in the early 1990s, when researchers in Laos and Vietnam simultaneously noted its distinctive antlers in the homes of local hunters.

Researchers first discovered the rabbit in a fresh food market in Laos, in a small town near Nakai-Nam Theun, by a biologist working for WCS, Robert Timmins (Timmins was also involved in the discovery of the muntjac). The rabbit was subsequently photographed a few times in Vietnam, but this is the first wild photograph from Laos.

"This region is extraordinary for it's distinctive wildlife," said Dr. Arlyne Johnson, co-director of the WCS Lao Program, "We are delighted to be working with the WMPA to ensure a future for not only the large-antlered muntjac and Annamite striped rabbit, but the many other rare species that call this globally important region their home."

Despite previous camera-trapping efforts in the large-antlered muntjac's presumed range in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, no previous wild photographs of the animal are known. Yet the effort in Nakai-Nam Theun yielded more than ten photographs of the species from several localities. The results indicate that Nakai-Nam Theun is a global stronghold for this threatened animal.

Nakai-Nam Theun is home to several other endangered animals, such as the extremely rare saola -- an antelope-like animal, also discovered in the 1990s and known only from the Annamites -- plus tigers, Asian elephants, and what is considered one of the world's most beautiful monkeys, the red-shanked douc. Recent surveys identified what are thought to be more new species of animals and plants, but this awaits verification.

One of the WMPA's responsibilities is enforcement against poaching of wildlife, with patrol teams (again, incorporating local residents) trained in part by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Three days after the rabbit was photographed, the same camera in the same place photographed two hunters carrying guns, equipped for night-time poaching. "Hunting in Laos is a long standing tradition," said Mr. Sangthong, "but people must respect the laws that our government has put in place to protect the county's valuable wildlife." The WMPA is investigating the case.


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. "Camera-shy Deer Caught For First Time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070724125333.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2007, July 25). Camera-shy Deer Caught For First Time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070724125333.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Camera-shy Deer Caught For First Time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070724125333.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) 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:
from the past week

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