Silver-backed chevrotain protection project in Vietnam
Species name: SILVER-BACKED CHEVROTAIN
Latin name: Tragulus versicolor
Project website: www.globalwildlife.org/silver-backed-chevrotain/
Silver-backed Chevrotain (Tragulus versicolor) otherwise known as Vietnam mouse-deer
This species, like deer, belongs to the order of even-toed ungulates and owes its name to its extremely small size. The only one measured weighing 1.7 kg and was 40 cm long! The back of the silverback has a dense gray-silver hair that resembles a saddle pad. Like other chevrotains, it doesn’t have antlers, and males have long, thin canines.
It is one of the least known mammals on earth. Silver-backed chevrotain is endemic to Vietnam in the Annamite Mountains. It was described in 1910 on the basis of 4 individuals found near the Nha Trang River. Scientists were only able to observe it once more in 1990, and it was the last report of this species!
In 2018, the Wrocław Zoo joined the Global Wildlife Conservation campaign to find the silver-backed chevrotain. As a result of environmental degradation, deforestation and poaching, the chances were very slim. Several expeditions had no effect, the main reason was a very little knowledge about this enigmatic mammal. The breakthrough came in March 2019, when recordings from cameras installed in coastal forests in southern Vietnam were read. In November, after analyzing all the recordings and confirming the DNA tests of the samples collected around the cameras, the news spread around the world that a mouse-deer had been found in Vietnam!
Finding the place where the silver-backed chevrotains are found is only the beginning of research on the biology, ecology and protection of this species. We joined this research by organizing the Wild Run and fundraising. Funds are needed to organize a team of rangers that will patrol the area where the mouse-deer is present, counteracting poaching (primarily removing snares) and monitoring information about animals using cameras.