After 30 years, researchers have photographed the silver-backed chevrotain for the first time in a forest in Southern Vietnam.
Images of the silver-backed chevrotain, which are also known as the Vietnamese mouse deer, were captured in the wild by trap cameras.
The announcement was made by the Global Wildlife Conservation.
The chevrotain is not a deer or a mouse, it’s just its nickname.
The chevrotain is the world’s smallest hoofed mammal.
The chevrotain mammal is a shy and solitary animal that has 2 small fangs, and they appear to walk on the tips of their hooves.
They also have a silver sheen.
An Nguyen, a conservation scientist at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, which is the partner of the Global Wildlife Conservation of the project, said, “For so long this species has seemingly only existed as part of our imagination.”
Nguyen added, “Discovering that it is, indeed, still out there, is the first step in ensuring we don’t lose it again, and we’re moving quickly now to figure out how best to protect it.”
The chevrotain was first described by 4 people in 1910, and a fifth sighting of the mammal was reported in 1990 in Central Vietnam.
The Global Wildlife Conservation considers the chevrotain as one of the rarest animals in the world.
Nguyen and his team set up camera traps after receiving information from local villagers and forest rangers about the animal.
Over 5 months, the camera traps took around 1,800 pictures and some videos.
Hoang Minh Duc, the head of the Southern Institute of Ecology Department of Zoology in Vietnam, said, “The rediscovery of the silver-backed chevrotain provides big hope for the conservation of biodiversity, especially threatened species, in Vietnam.”
Duc added, “This also encourages us, together with relevant and international partners, to devote time and effort to further investigation and conservation of Vietnam’s biodiversity heritage.”
The Vietnamese mouse-deer typically weighs less than 10 pounds and has a silver sheen on their back and has 2 tiny fangs.
The Vietnamese mouse-deer is the world’s smallest ungulate or hoofed animal.
Scientists are now setting up more camera traps in 2 different areas in an attempt to determine how large the population of the Vietnamese mouse-deer is in Vietnam.
The new survey is going to understand the threats to the survival of the mammal.