Large-antlered muntjac photographed for the first time in Laos

This video is called Asian & African Elephants – Endangered Species.

From the Wildlife Conservation Society in the USA:

Camera-shy deer caught for first time

NEW YORK (July 24, 2007) — 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 LaosNakai 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 square 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. …

Nakai-Nam Theun is home to several other endangered animals, such as the extremely rare saola [see also here] – 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.

September 2010. For the first time in more than ten years, there has been a confirmed sighting of one of the rarest and most enigmatic animals in the world, the Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) from the Annamite Mountains of Laos and Vietnam. The Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (also known as Laos) has announced that in late August villagers in the central province of Bolikhamxay captured a live Saola and brought it back to their village: here.

4 thoughts on “Large-antlered muntjac photographed for the first time in Laos

  1. Saved from the brink of extinction

    11:21, April 28, 2008

    More than 1,000 years ago, when the great scholar Su Shi (1037-1101) visited the Red Cliff at the lower reaches of the Yangtze River with a friend, they marveled at the great changes that had taken place since Cao Cao waged a huge battle against Sun Quan and Liu Bei back in the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-280).

    “Xiakou lies to our west and Wuchang to the east. Surrounded by mountains and waters, covered in lush green trees and grass, isn’t this the place where Zhou Yu defeated Cao Cao?

    “You and I go fishing and cut firewood on the islet. We find companionship in the fish and shrimp, enjoy the friendship of the Milu deer. ”

    Milu, an aboriginal species in China, has been a symbol of the carefree life of the immortals for some 2,000 years. There were, at one time, so many Milu deer that the Chinese coined a funny name for it – “sibuxiang”, or “none of the four alike” for its unique appearance – a horse’s face, a donkey’s tail, cow-like hooves and a stag’s antlers.

    But like many species that once roamed the earth freely, the Milu deer has been pushed to the verge of extinction by humans. However, it is also through the relentless efforts of humans that the deer has been saved.

    Milu, which once populated the swamps of Central China, was nearly extinct by the mid-19th century. In 1865, French missionary and naturalist Pere Armand David discovered a few hundred Milu at the former Imperial Hunting Park of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in southern Beijing.

    As the missionary sent a few Milu to Europe, the species is recorded as Pere David’s deer. Even as wars, floods and famine wiped out the country’s Milu population in the 1900s, the 11th Duke of Bedford in England gathered 18 Milu from zoos across Europe and raised them on his manor 45 miles north of London.

    It was not until 1985 that the Milu finally got a chance to return home. Lord Tavistock, the 14th Duke of Bedford, returned 20 Milu to its homeland as China and Britain inked an agreement to save the species.

    The first batch of Milu settled down well at the Nanhaizi Milu Park, the former imperial hunting park in Beijing, and began breeding in 1987. Inspired by this success, Lord Tavistock sent more Milu to China.

    Chinese people have regarded Milu deer as a symbol of the carefree life of the immortals for about 2,000 years. Zhou Gukai

    The deer has a strong ability to adapt. Besides Beijing, Milu are also thriving under human care and in the wilderness in the nature reserves at Shishou, Hubei province, and Dafeng, Jiangsu province. Both are located in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, where Su Shi talked about befriending the Milu.

    Ding Yuhua, who has been taking care of the Milu at Dafeng for some 20 years, didn’t know what to feed the deer at first. He offered them different kinds of grass and eventually found 198 kinds suitable, many of which had never before been recorded.

    In 1987, a pregnant Milu delivered at Dafeng. When the wobbling newborn fell into a nearby ditch, Ding rushed out of his hiding place, dried the fawn with his coat, put it back to its mother and quickly ran away.

    Ding, nicknamed “Milu’s Father” by his colleagues, has been supporting the return of the Milu to the wilderness with other experts. In 2003, a fawn was born in the wild at Dafeng. This was decisive for the “flagship species” of the wetland ecosystem to be removed from the red list of endangered animals by the World Conservation Union.

    Today, more than 2,000 Milu live in the world. The best place to see the legendary deer is Nanhaizi, where a male fawn was born on April 11 this year as China’s first artificially conceived Milu.

    Guo Geng, vice-director of the Nanhaizi Milu Park, has devised a few ingenious methods with his colleagues to help visitors understand the importance of the Milu.

    The park, which is a famous bird-watching spot in the capital, has ancient poems about the Milu carved on the benches to remind people that they should strive for harmony with nature.

    Source: China Daily


  2. Pingback: Rare Vietnamese mammal seen | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Rare Asiatic black bear on camera trap in Vietnam | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Rare large-antlered muntjac seen in Vietnam | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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