November 19, 2019
Many species have not yet been discovered by science, but there are also other species that have been discovered and then lost. Occasionally species are even found, lost and then rediscovered, as is the case of the silver-backed chevrotain.
This elusive creature, often called a mouse-deer despite being neither, was rediscovered by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research after almost 30 years. During the intervening years local residents of the Vietnamese forest knew the species was living there, but scientists had not seen evidence of a living chevrotain since 1990 when one was captured.
Camera traps were set up in areas where locals had spotted the creatures, and after five months the first image of one was captured. This research has been able to definitively prove that the species is still living in the forest, although the local people believe their numbers have decreased in recent years. Ongoing input of local knowledge, as well as scientific research will be essential to discover more about this elusive species and assist with maintaining biodiversity in Vietnam. It will be of particular interest to discover how genetically diverse the chevrotain population is, as this may impact the future success of this species.
Source: Science News
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