World smallest chevrotain spotted in Vietnam

World smallest chevrotain spotted in Vietnam

HANOI: A silver back chevrotain or mouse deer thought to be on the verge of extinction has been spotted in a jungle in Vietnam after almost three decades.

According to a study published yesterday, scientists recently set camera traps for a few months in a jungle near Nha Trang and were able to get more than 2,000 photos of the species, Tragulus Versicolor.

The species was last recorded in 1990 when Vietnamese and Russian researchers obtained a specimen killed by a hunter, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

The silver-backed chevrotain is among the top 25 most wanted lost species in the Search for Lost Species of the Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) report.

Despite their common English names, chevrotains are neither mice nor deer, but the world’s smallest ungulates (hoofed mammals).

They are shy and solitary, appear to walk on the tips of their hooves and have two tiny fangs. Chevrotains typically weigh less than 5kg.

The animal was first described in 1910 when four individuals were found near Nha Trang. The fifth individual was collected from a hunter in central Vietnam in 1990.

According to GWC Asian species officer, Andrew Tilker there is very little information about this animal and the rediscovery of the species does not mean it is not threatened, so swift actions are needed to conserve them.


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