Overview

Brief Summary

Sri Lankan spotted or white-spotted chevotrain (Moschiola meminna)

The Sri Lankan spotted chevotrain lives in deciduous vegetation formations, forests and home gardens, as well as coconut plantations, and other cultivated habitats in the dry zone of Sri Lanka (2), except for the southwestern quarter and the central mountain range (3). It is seldom far from water (4). The yellow-striped chevotrain (M. kathygre) replaces it in the wetzone of Sri Lanka (2).

It is 54-60 cm long and weighs about 3.13 kg as an adult. The dull dirt-brown coat has 3-4 dotted white stripes going longitudinally along the flank

It is nocturnal. There are 1-2 young in a litter. The newborn weighs about 319g.

Moschiola meminna also included the yellow-striped chevotrain (M. kathygre) and the Indian spotted chevotrain (M. indica).

  • 1 Duckworth, J.W. & Timmins, R.J. (2008). Moschiola meminna. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 6 November 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
  • 2 Groves, C. & Meijaard, E. (2005) Intraspecific variation in Moschiola, the Indian Chevrotain. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Supplement 12:413-421 PDF
  • 3 Pocock, R. I. (1938). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Taylor & Francis, Ltd., London, UK.
  • 4. Eisenberg, J. F. and Lockhart, M. 1972. An ecological reconnaissance survey of Wilpattu National Park, Ceylon. Smithson Contrib. Zool., Washington DC, 101, 1-118.
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Distribution

Range Description

Moschiola meminna, as used here, is endemic to the dry zone of Sri Lanka: localities listed in Groves and Meijaard (2005: 421) suggest that it may well occur throughout this zone. This covers most of the island, except for the southwestern quarter and the central mountain range (Pocock 1939). Previous to the taxonomic revision of Groves and Meijaard (2005), no effort was made to distinguish Sri Lankan chevrotains into different forms, and so past records other than the specimens Groves and Meijaard (2005) analysed cannot be retrospectively, objectively, assigned to this species in its current taxonomic sense. No published records additional to Groves and Meijaard (2005) and following their suggested taxonomy were traced. Objective identification (i.e. not solely on the basis of habitat and location) of further animals at various localities within the island is required to test the hypothesis of Groves and Meijaard (2005) of a strict segregation of habitat between this species and M. kathygre; these authors stressed their “admittedly small sample sizes”. Currently it would therefore be rash for species-level identification to be assigned to individuals under the Groves and Meijaard (2005) taxonomic hypothesis solely on the basis of habitat.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Other than that this chevrotain lives in deciduous vegetation formations, little information has been traced specific to the species as here defined. Information for the genus is reviewed under M. indica. It is seldom far from water (Eisenberg and Lockhart 1972). It is basically a forest species, being found commonly in all forest types within the dry zone, and also in coconut plantations and home gardens (R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2008).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 14.5 years (captivity) Observations: One captive specimen lived 14.5 years (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Duckworth, J.W. & Timmins, R.J.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
The dry zone is much too extensive to allow listing as even Near Threatened through range criteria for a species that is well distributed throughout the zone. Chevrotains remain widespread and common within this zone, surviving well, even, despite heavy hunting, outside protected areas and in artificial woody habitats such as coconut plantations. Assuming that all chevrotains in this zone are White-spotted Chevrotains, there is thus no basis to invoke any overall decline significant enough to list this species even as Near Threatened. There are, however, no data to confirm that the species' populations are stable.
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Population

Population
This species appears to be widespread, based on localities of confirmed specimens in Groves and Meijaard (2005). White-spotted Chevrotain is “fairly common in forests throughout the dry zone both inside and outside protected areas” (P. Fernando pers. comm. 2008). It is commonly found not only in all forest types within the dry zone but also in coconut plantations and home gardens (R. Pethiyagoda pers. comm. 2008). K.A.I. Nekaris (pers. comm. 2008) saw many chevrotains in the dry zone during spot-light surveys in 2001. Sri Lanka chevrotain densities of around 0.58 animals/km² reported by Dubost (2001) are likely to concern the dry zone species, but the original source has not been traced and so, without clarification of the underlying methodology and assumptions leading to the estimate, their reliability is unknown.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
In past centuries, there has been a major loss of habitat available to this chevrotain and thus in its population, reflecting a rise in the human population of Sri Lanka from one million in the 19th century to twenty million now (Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne pers. comm. 2008). A number of well secured protected areas within the dry zone support chevrotains. The effects of forest degradation and fragmentation on this chevrotain are probably not severe, given its ability to survive in home gardens, coconut plantations, etc. (see Habitat and ecology). Sri Lankan chevrotains are commonly hunted in areas where conservation management was suspended during the civil war, with firearms, for their meat (Santiapillai and Wijeyamotan 2003), but it seems unlikely that this is at sufficient levels to restrain population levels within reasonably-sized blocks of remaining habitat. In the dry zone they remain fairly common in forests even outside protected areas, despite widespread hunting (P. Fernando pers. comm. 2008). Hunting techniques which could be dangerous for chevrotains include a lot of trap guns in the forest (set usually for pigs) as well as live electric wires, taken off the post, dragged through the forest and set in rice paddies (K.A.I. Nekaris pers. comm. 2008).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Many protected areas exist within the species’s range, some of which are very well secured. In the wider landscape, it is important to understand the effects of current habitat degradation trends and hunting levels upon the species.
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Wikipedia

Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain

Moschiola meminna redirects here. Before the 21st century, this usually referred to any species of Moschiola.

Moschiola meminna is a species of even-toed ungulate in the chevrotain family (Tragulidae). Particularly in the old literature, M. meminna often refers to the spotted chevrotains as a whole. Today, the name is increasingly restricted to the Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain or white-spotted chevrotain, with the Indian spotted chevrotain M. indica[2] and/or the yellow-striped chevrotain M. kathygre treated as distinct species. Known as ශ්‍රී ලංකා සුදු තිත් මීමින්නා in Sinhala.

In Sri Lanka, this species is found in the dry zone and is replaced in the wet zone by the yellow-striped chevrotain.[3]

Description[edit]

Head and body length is 55-60cm. Dull dirt-brown in color with 3-4 dotted white stripes going longitudinally along flak

References[edit]

  1. ^ Duckworth, J.W. & Timmins, R.J. (2008). Moschiola meminna. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 6 November 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
  2. ^ IUCN Redlist
  3. ^ Groves, C. & Meijaard, E. (2005) Intraspecific variation in Moschiola, the Indian Chevrotain. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Supplement 12:413-421 PDF
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