DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionThe large-antlered muntjac is only known from the Annamite mountain chain and associated hill ranges of Lao PDR, Viet Nam and, marginally, eastern Cambodia. All current records from Cambodia, like most from Lao PDR and Viet Nam, are trophy antlers held by local hunters (R.J. Timmins pers. comm. 2006). Large-antlered Muntjac do not inhabit the northern highlands of Lao PDR or Viet Nam, nor the Mekong plain. Its distribution and status in Lao PDR was reviewed by Timmins et al. (1998), but no comparable compilation is available for Viet Nam. There have been no significant extensions of known Lao range since this collation.
In neither Lao PDR nor Viet Nam is there any marked discontinuity in landforms between the Annamite range and the northern highlands. Large-antlered Muntjac seems not to extend into the latter region as defined in Baltzer et al. (2001). Its trophies have been reported furthest to the north-east from the Pu Huong Nature Reserve, Nghe An province (Cao Tien Trung and A. Grieser Johns pers. comm. to R.J. Timmins 2008). Searches further north in Viet Nam have not found the species (e.g. Le Trong Trai et al. 1999c; Le Trong Trai and Do Tuoc pers. comm. to R.J. Timmins in the 1990s). The most northerly evidence in the main Annamite spine is from Pu Mat Nature Reserve, Nghe An Province, on the Viet Namese side and from southern Bolikhamxai on the Lao side, with presence also to the west in southern Nam Kading National Protected Area (NPA) (Schaller and Vrba 1996; Timmins et al. 1998; SFNC 2000; R.J. Timmins pers. comm. 2008). In Lao PDR, the species might yet be found as far north as southern Xiangkhouang Province and Xaisomboun Special Administrative Zone, which remain largely unsurveyed, as does most of intervening northern Bolikhamxai Province.
South of southern Bolikhamxai Province and southern Nam Kading NPA in Lao PDR, the Large-antlered Muntjac occurs in the Annamites, particularly Nakai–Nam Theun NPA and the Nakai plateau, and outlying hill ranges including the foothills in and around Phou Xang He NPA, Xe Bang-Nouan NPA and Dong Phou Vieng NPA, the Lao–Viet Namese border area in the region of Hin Namno NPA, and the main body of the central Annamites in Xe Sap NPA, the Dakchung Plateau and Dong Ampham NPA (Schaller and Vrba 1996, Davidson et al. 1997; Timmins et al. 1998; Steinmetz 1998; Steinmetz et al. 1999; Robichaud et al. in prep.).
In Viet Nam, south of Pu Mat Nature Reserve, the Large-antlered Muntjac has been recorded in several Annamite sites including Vu Quang Nature Reserve, Ha Tinh Province (Dawson and Do Tuoc 1997; Eve et al. 2001: 45 and 122). From Vu Quang NR southwards, there are, as in Lao PDR, sporadic records of trophies, but little other information save for anecdotal reports of the species’s scarcity (Le Xuan Canh et al. 1997; Le Trong Trai and Richardson 1999; Le Trong Trai et al. 1999a, 1999b, 2001; Timmins et al. 1999; Timmins and Trinh Viet Cuong 2001; Le Manh Hung et al. 2002; Tua Tien Hue Province Forest Protection Department; Tua Tien Hue and Quang Nam Provinces: B. Long; Kon Plong area, Kontum Province: Do Tuoc; A Loui District, Quang Nam Province and Kon Cha Rang NR area, Gia Lai province: Le Trong Trai; all pers. comm. to R.J. Timmins). In the mid 1990s the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute and the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources obtained two and three, respectively, freshly hunted animals from the Lam Ha District, Lam Dong Province in the Southern Annamites (a region often referred to as the Langbian or Dalat Plateau), which they mounted as specimens for the respective institutions (Do Tuoc and Pham Trong Anh pers. comm. to RJT). The Da Lat Biology Institute in Lam Dong in October 1995 held 19 M. vuquangensis, reportedly mostly from some or all of the districts of Lac Duong, Di Linh, Bao Loc and Lam Ha (Pham Trong Anh et al. 1996). This area is also one of the few with reasonable historical evidence for Large-antlered Muntjac (Millet 1930; Bauer 1997). No published recent survey has determined the conservation status of the Large-antlered Muntjac in this area, and its southern limit remains poorly known.
In Cambodia, the Large-antlered Muntjac is known only through trophy antlers seen in villages and markets of the Mondulkiri plateau (Desai and Lic 1996; Timmins and Ou 2001; Walston 2001). It is probably very localised: extensive camera-trapping at low elevations on the southern slope in Siema Biodiversity Conservation Area has not detected the species (J.L. Walston and T.D. Evans pers. comm. to R.J. Timmins based on WCS unpublished data), and at higher elevations closed canopy semi-evergreen forest forms a mosaic with deciduous forests, savanna and grassland; the latter are believed to be unsuitable for the species (Timmins and Ou 2001; R.J. Timmins pers. comm. 2008). Slight doubt over provenance of trophies in Mondulkiri reflects the heavy trade with Viet Nam (albeit mostly to Viet Nam from Cambodia) and lack of influence on hunters’ movements of the international border. On ecological grounds there seems little question that this muntjac should occur in Cambodia, although it may already have been hunted out.