Hairy-fronted Muntjac


Hairy-fronted Muntjac
Hairy-fronted muntjac
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Muntiacinae
Genus: Muntiacus
Species: M. crinifrons
Binomial name
Muntiacus crinifrons
(Sclater, 1885)

The Hairy-fronted Muntjac or Black Muntjac (Muntiacus crinifrons) is found in Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi and Fujian in South China, also reported in northern Myanmar and Southern Tibet. Although extremely difficult to study because of its shyness, it is considered to be endangered, possibly down to as few as 5-10,000 individuals spread over a wide area. It is a similar size to the common muntjac.

This species was for a very long time one of the most poorly known deer in the world. It was also considered highly endangered; up to 1975, it was only known from a few museum specimens, at least to western scientists. The species has been heavily harvested throughout the 20th century and in 1978 at least 2,000 animals were killed. The current population in China was assessed in the early 1990s to be ca 10,000 animals however it has declined much since and the current population is likely to be well under 7,000.

The species was considered endemic only to China for a long time, although a survey in North-eastern Myanmar (close to the Chinese border) was carried out as early as 1938 after reports of a black barking deer there. That expedition failed to find any specimens and it was only in 1997 that two expeditions discovered evidence suggesting that the species was endemic to North-eastern Myanmar. A few dozen skins and antlers of animals killed by hunters were collected from several villages by the first expedition, and over 50 skins were found during the second survey, exhibiting similarities to the animals in China; DNA samples taken from the collected skins showed that the animals collected in Myanmar were identical to animals found in China. The number of animals in Myanmar is suggested to be similar to those in China, bringing up the total world population to some 10,000-13,000 animals.[citation needed]

References

  1. ^ Harris, R.B. (2008). Muntiacus crinifrons. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 5 April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable.