The silver-backed chevrotain, widely believed to be extinct, has been photographed in Vietnam for the first time in three decades. Needless to say, conservationists and scientists are exhilarated by this occurrence!
The silver-backed chevrotain is a mystical animal. It is the size of a rabbit but looks like a deer. Also called the Vietnamese mouse deer, this animal weighs around 10 pounds and has two tiny fangs. According to the Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), these mammals are the world’s smallest hooved animals.
With these photographs, scientists have rediscovered this animal that they believed was “lost to science.”
This species was last recorded close to three decades ago, when a team of Vietnamese and Russian researchers obtained a dead chevrotain from a hunter. Researchers long thought that this intriguing species of animal was lost to habitat loss and poaching.
However, scientists began looking out for this species by setting camera traps after receiving information from the locals near the beach city of Nha Trang in Vietnam, who said that they had sighted these animals. Subsequently, they captured 275 photos of the animal.
“We had no idea what to expect, so I was surprised and overjoyed when we checked the camera traps and saw photographs of a chevrotain with silver flanks,” said expedition team leader An Nguyen, a conservation scientist for Global Wildlife Conservation who is also field coordinator with the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin.
“Discovering that it is, indeed, still out there, is the first step in ensuring we don’t lose it again, and we’re moving quickly now to figure out how best to protect it,” he said in a statement.
Post this exercise, researchers set up dozens of more cameras, recording over 1800 photos of the mammal over a duration of five months.
This news has been published in the scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Isn’t this a fantastic piece of news that just makes your day? What do you think about these interesting creatures? Share your views with us in the comments section below.