T. versicolor would be difficult to separate confidently from T. kanchil especially under field conditions and this is so even on photographs. Thus, building knowledge on the species is likely to prove difficult and time consuming (R.J. Timmins pers. comm. 2008). Distinguishing characters were discussed by Meijaard and Groves (2004a) and by Kuznetzov and Borissenko (2004). The latter, admittedly on the basis of a single specimen which, lacking a skull, could not be aged, confirmed the pelage pattern differences described in the earlier source, but suspected that T. versicolor might be smaller than sympatric T. kanchil, rather than consistently larger.
Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- Data Deficient (DD)
Habitat degradation and fragmentation may also be threats, depending on how well the species persists in such areas. These processes occur widely in the species' known range and throughout its plausible range. Habitat conversion is more likely to reduce or eliminate populations where it occurs, although there is no evidence of whether T. versicolor can use plantation crop landscapes. By the mid 1990s the area around Buon Luoi had been completely deforested and converted to agriculture (Kuznetzov and Borissenko 2004). Although protected areas remain in the general region, all are being logged and heavily hunted (Kuznetzov and Borissenko 2004). No information is available on the current status of the habitat whence came the original material, because this is not known precisely.
Until one or more populations are found, further conservation measures cannot be recommended additional to the general need to consolidate the declared protected areas in southern Indochina into functioning biodiversity conservation areas.
The Vietnam mouse-deer (Tragulus versicolor), also known as the silver-backed chevrotain, is a species of even-toed ungulate in the Tragulidae family that at present only is known from Vietnam. Until 2004, it was generally treated as a subspecies of the greater mouse-deer (T. napu), though it more closely resembles the lesser mouse-deer (T. kanchil). Recent records of this very poorly known species are missing, but this is more likely due to the difficulty involved in separating it from other mouse-deer and the general absence of field work within its presumed range than it being extinct.
- Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Timmins, R.J., Duckworth, J.W. & Meijaard, E. (2008). Tragulus versicolor. 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 data deficient.
- E. Meijaard, C.P. Groves (2004), "A taxonomic revision of the Tragulus mouse-deer (Artiodactyla)", Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 140 (1), 63–102 doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2004.00091.x http://zmmu.msu.ru/rjt/articles/ther3_1%2009_13%20Kuznez_Borisenko.pdf
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