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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is widely distributed in central and southern China (Shaanxi, Gansu and Henan, south to southeastern Tibet, Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong and Jiangxi; Yang et al. 2003; Zhou et al. 2004). It extends to the eastern Himalayas and into northeastern Viet Nam, and perhaps northern Lao PDR (there is unresolved historical information that this species also used to exist in Lao PDR (Chebinaud 1942; J.W. Duckworth pers. comm.).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits coniferous or broad-leaved forests, or mixed forests and shrublands at high elevations (2,000-3,800 m). In Viet Nam it is found in karst habitats (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm.). Animals are most active between dusk and dawn, alternately resting and feeding. Forest Musk Deer eat leaves, grasses, moss, lichens, shoots, twigs. These animals are shy, sedentary, and remain within a defined home range throughout the year. Males utilize their large musk gland to defend their territory and attract mates. When alarmed they make great leaps with wild changes of direction. They can adroitly jump into trees to forage. Their main predators include leopard, marten, fox, wolf, lynx and especially humans. Gestation lasts 6.5 months, after which one or two young are born. During the first two months, the young deer lie hidden in secluded areas, independent of their mothers except at feeding times. They are weaned within 3-4 months and reach sexual maturity by 24 months. Animals may live up to 20 years. Home ranges of M. berezovskii were reported to be 5-10 ha in China by Sheng and Liu (2007).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Observations: Little is known about the longevity of these animals and they are difficult to breed in captivity. Reportedly, one specimen in China lived 20 years (Sathyakumar et al. 1993). Still, their maximum longevity must be classified as unknown.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Moschus berezovskii

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Moschus berezovskii

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2cd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Wang, Y. & Harris, R.B.

Reviewer/s
Black, P.A. & Gonzalez, S. (Deer Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Endangered because of a probable serious population decline, estimated to be more than 50% over the last three generations (approximately 21 years), inferred from over-exploitation, shrinkage in distribution, and habitat destruction and degradation. Although there is no direct data available regarding recent declining population rates, the above-mentioned rate of decline seems reasonable based on the high levels of harvesting and habitat loss. It should also be noted that the population in China was guessed at over one million in the 1960s; in 1978-1980 at less than 600,000; and in 1992 at 100,000 to 200,000 in 1992 (Sheng 1998), though the basis for these numbers is not clear. However, if this level of decline is roughly correct, then the species might even qualify for listing as Critically endangered under criterion A2cd.

History
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/near threatened
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
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Population

Population
Estimating population sizes or trends for musk deer is very difficult, and has rarely been done satisfactorily. Population estimates over large-scale areas are subject to considerable uncertainty (and this is exacerbated in China by uncertainty over taxonomy). The population in China was guessed at over one million in the 1960s; in 1978-1980 at less than 600,000; and in 1992 at 100,000 to 200,000 in 1992 (Sheng 1998). However, the basis for these estimates is unclear, though the strong declining trend is likely to be correct. In the late 1990s, the population in Viet Nam was estimated at 200, but it is now very rare (Do Tuoc pers. comm.).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The musk produced by this genus of primitive deer is highly valued for its cosmetic and alleged pharmaceutical properties, and can fetch U.S.$45,000 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) on the international market. Although this musk, produced in a gland of the males, can be extracted from live animals, most "musk-gatherers" kill the animals to remove the entire sac, which yields only about 25 grams (1/40 of a kilogram) of a brown waxy substance. Such poaching is relatively easy to accomplish and difficult to stop using only legal means (Harris 2007). Musk deer appear to require dense vegetation, either in the form of intact forests or shrublands; thus excessive forest clearing or grazing can preclude musk deer from using such lands (Yang et al. 2003). The Viet Namese population is heavily hunted by local people for medicinal use, and is thought to persist in the country in only four localities (Do Tuoc pers. comm.).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed in CITES Appendix II. It is on the China Red List as Endangered (A1cd, B1c), and on the China Key List. Captive breeding, primarily for commercial musk production, occurs in various places in China, and might have some conservation benefit. However, to date, there is little evidence that the availability of musk from captive-bred animals has had a positive conservation impact in terms of reducing poaching pressure (Parry-Jones and Wu 2001, Green et al. 2007, Harris 2007).
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Wikipedia

Dwarf musk deer

The dwarf musk deer or Chinese forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii, Chinese: 林麝; pinyin: Lín shè) is an artiodactyl native to southern and central China and northernmost Vietnam. On June 14, 1976, China entered the dwarf musk deer onto its endangered species list.[2] Four subspecies are recognized:[3]

  • M. b. berezovskii
  • M. b. bijiangensis
  • M. b. caobangis
  • M. b. yanguiensis

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wang, Y. & Harris, R.B. (2008). Moschus berezovskii. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 29 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of endangered.
  2. ^ Endangered Species - Dwarf Musk Deer Facts
  3. ^ Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder, ed. (2005) (in German), Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3. ed.), Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 0-8018-8221-4
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