Animal Info - Truong Son Muntjac

(Other Names: Muntjac de Truong Son, Sam Soi Cacoong)

Muntiacus truongsonensis

Status: Data Deficient


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Weight, Habitat, Early Development, Diet, Behavior)
5. References


Profile

Picture: Truong Son Muntjac (10 Kb JPEG) (Cons. Intl 2004)

The Truong Son muntjac was first recorded by scientists during a survey of forests in the Truong Son (formerly "Annamite") range of mountains in Vietnam in April 1997.  It weighs approximately 15 kg (33 lb) and is found mostly in secondary wet evergreen forest, with ferns and leaf litter in the dense undergrowth, in higher ridges from 400 - 1000 m (1300 - 3300').   

Detailed information about its biology is not yet available.  Generally, it has been found that young muntjacs are born in dense jungle growth, where they remain hidden until they can move around with their mother. The diet of muntjac species includes grasses, low-growing leaves, and tender shoots, and both diurnal and nocturnal activity have been reported. (Nowak 1999)

Hunting may be a threat.  Although hunting is illegal in Vietnam, many people hunt, either for commercial or subsistence purposes. (Wikramanayake 1999)


Tidbits

*** Locally, the Truong Son muntjac is called "sam coi cacoong," which means "the deer that lives in the deep, thick forest."

*** The scientific name selected for this species, Muntiacus truongsonensis, refers to the Truong Son (formerly "Annamite") range of mountains. This follows the recent custom of naming newly identified mammal species for geographic locations near where they were first found. Such species include: the saola, named Pseudoryx nghetinhensis for the two Vietnamese provinces Nghe An and Ha Tinh; the giant muntjac, named Megamuntiacus vuquangensis for the Vu Quang Nature Reserve in Vietnam; the leaf muntjac, named Muntiacus putaoensis for the town, Putao, nearest to where it was found in Myanmar; and the Tainguen civet, Viverra tainguensis, named for the Tainguen Plateau in Vietnam where it was originally found. (Amato et al. 1999, Rozhnov & Pham Trong Anh 1999, Wikramanayake 1999)

*** Muntjacs are also known as "barking deer" because they make a deep, barklike sound as a warning if they sense a predator nearby.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where the Truong Son Muntjac Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in Laos and Vietnam (IUCN 2004).

History of Distribution:

The Truong Son muntjac was discovered by scientists during a survey of forests of the northern Truong Son range around West Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam.   After DNA analysis it was confirmed as a new species in August 1997. (Wikramanayake 1999)

The Truong Son muntjac is one of several new species found in the Truong Son mountains and described by scientists only recently.  These species have not been identified previously because years of armed conflict, steep and rugged terrain and remoteness have precluded scientific exploration of this region until recently.

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Hunting may be a threat.  Although hunting is illegal in Vietnam, many people hunt, either for commercial or subsistence purposes. (Wikramanayake 1999)


Data on Biology and Ecology

Weight:

Approximately 15 kg (33 lb).

Habitat:

The Truong Son muntjac is found mostly in secondary wet evergreen forest, with ferns and leaf litter in the dense undergrowth, in higher ridges from 400 - 1000 m (1300 - 3300'). (Focus 1997d, Giao et al. 1998)

It occurs in the Annamite Range Moist Forests Global 200 Ecoregion. (Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999)

Early Development:

Young muntjacs are generally born in dense jungle growth, where they remain hidden until they can move around with their mother. (Nowak 1999)

Diet:

The diet of muntjac species includes grasses, low-growing leaves, and tender shoots. (Nowak 1999)

Behavior:

Both diurnal and nocturnal activity have been reported for muntjac species in general.


References

Amato et al. 1999, Cons. Intl 2004, Focus 1997d, Giao et al. 1998, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Nowak 1999, Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999, Rozhnov & Pham Trong Anh 1999, Wemmer 1998, Wikramanayake 1999


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Last modified: September 9, 2006;

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