The main threat to the Siberian musk deer comes from being hunted for the musk trade (2). For over 5,000 years musk has been a highly valued ingredient in the production of medicines and perfumes (7). While it is no longer in such high demand in the perfume industry, due to the availability of cheaper synthetic alternatives (6), it is still used a great deal in traditional East Asian medicine preparations (7). Legal export quotas from the Russian Federation in 2008 indicated that 1,629 musk pods were obtained in the 2007 to 2008 hunting season (3). However, the number of deer killed to achieve this amount could be three to five times higher than this figure, since non-selective snares kill an average of three to five deer before a male with a large enough musk gland is caught. These legal quotas are, however, dwarfed in comparison with the illegal trade occurring in the Russian Federation. In the period 1999 to 2000, it was estimated that over 80 percent of all musk deer killed in the Russian Federation were poached, potentially representing a loss of over 50,000 deer (2).
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