Rare jungle deer photographed for the first time
July 24, 2007

A camera trap has captured the first ever pictures of an elusive forest deer in its natural habitat, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Large-antlered muntjac (Muntiacus vuquangensis) and unidentified poachers in Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area, Laos. Copyright 2007 Nam Theun 2 Watershed Management and Protection Authority.

The deer, called a large-antlered muntjac, was previously known only from specimens collected by hunters and a few brief glimpses by biologists. The species stands approximately 25-30 inches tall (65-80 cm) and weighs up to 110 pounds (50 kilograms).

The photographs were taken using "camera traps" set in Laos' Nakai Nam Theun National Protected Area (NNT NPA), in the Annamite Mountains, a densely forested mountain chain that straddles the Laos-Vietnam border and is considered one the world's biodiversity hotspots. In recent years several previously unknown species has been discovered in the Annamites, which are also home to tigers, Asian elephants, and the highly endangered red-shanked douc monkey.

"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."


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Rare jungle deer photographed for the first time.