DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionThis species occurs in much of Myanmar, Cambodia, south and central China (Himalayas and east Tibet, south Gansu to Zhejiang and south to Yunnan), Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam (Grubb, 2005). Originally widely distributed throughout Thailand, the species is now restricted to steep, forested limestone hills and cliffs, in areas relatively inaccessible to human encroachment and the range is highly fragmented (Kamchanasaka, in press, Department of National Park and Wildlife). The Thai range map accompanying this account is only indicative of the extent of occurrence and not occupancy of range. Lekagul and McNeely (1988) stated that even when the surrounding areas were completely taken over by cultivation, these steep hills remain covered with dense vegetation. Such areas act as miniature sanctuaries for the serow. In 1977, these authors also reported serow in the north and northeast Thailand, but Nakasathien (1986) suggested a much more conservative distribution. The dividing line between the ranges of C. milneedwardsii and C. sumatraensis is unclear, but is suspected to fall somewhere in the Chooporn or Suratchathani Provinces on the Thai peninsula. In Thailand the species is primarily confined to the mountainous areas of the north and west, with isolated populations, in hill areas in the east and southeast. The historic distribution of serow in Lao PDR almost certainly included the vast majority of the countries land area, the majority of which is hilly to mountainous (e.g. Deuve, 1972; Lekagul and McNeely, 1988; R. Timmins pers. comm. 2008). Currently in Lao PDR the species is still widespread due to extensive tracts of habitat, often over rugged terrain, especially along the Annamite mountain range of eastern central and southern Lao PDR (W. Duckworth and R. Steinmetz pers. comm. 2006; R. Timmins pers. comm. 2008). Cambodia the species is probably naturally restricted to the hill and mountainous terrain that surround the Mekong and Tonle Sap (lake) central plains, although confirmation of presence comes from relatively few areas, primarily as a result of survey bias (R. Timmins pers. comm. 2008).
In Viet Nam the species was at least historically likely to have been widespread, except perhaps for the far southern Mekong Delta region, although this is not well documented, probably due to a historical bias towards surveys in the north (R. Timmins pers. comm. 2008). Populations in the northern highlands are likely to be heavily depleted in number and fragmented, but are likely somewhat more numerous and contiguous along the Annamite (Truong Son) mountains of central and southern Viet Nam. Confirmed records, especially well documented ones, from the southern portions of this range are very few (Gia Lai and Kontum Provinces (Do Tuoc, 1990), Lam Dong Province (Pham Mong Giao, 1990) but this is likely primarily a reflection of the paucity of fieldwork, rather than the actual status of serow. The species has also been recorded from offshore islands of the north, e.g. Cat Ba (Ha Dinh Due et al., 1989; Le Hien Hao, 1973).
The general distribution in Myanmar appears to follow the forested mountain ranges surrounding the central plains. Its distribution in the northwest is believed to stretch through the Chin Hills from the border with India, probably as far south as 20ºN in the Arakan Yoma range. A larger distribution area occurs in the mountains in the north (Kachin state) and in the mountains east of about 96ºW, to Myanmar’s borders with China, Lao PDR and Thailand.
C. milneedwardsii (as constituted here) is widely distributed through much of central and south-eastern China. The general distribution range may be taken to include all the area of the Southwest China Region from southern Gansu southward through Sichuan and most of Yunnan, and beyond into Myanmar. But the species is replaced in parts of northern Myanmar by Capricornis rubidus (Smith and Xie 2008), and probably by C. thar in parts of western Myanmar.
Records show a more or less continuous distribution along the ranges of the Hungduan mountain system. East of this region, populations occur in adjacent mountain areas of Qinling (Southern Slope), Shaanxi and Guizhou (Zhen, 1982). A few populations exist in the north-western Hengduan Mountains of Yushu and Nangqen (Qinghai) (Li et al., 1989). The species has a comparatively widespread distribution through western and southern Zhejiang, northern Fujian, most of Jiangxi (Shen et al., 1982), eastern Guizhou (Luo et al., 1985), northern Guangdong, eastern and south-western Guangxi, eastern and southern Yunnan, where it inhabits low mountains and foothills. It may also occur in south-western Sichuan, as indicated by specimens from the adjacent mountains of Jijiang.