Animal Info - Leaf Muntjac

(Other Names: Hpet Gyi, Leaf Deer)

Muntiacus putaoensis

Status: Not Yet Rated


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Weight, Habitat, Early Development, Diet, Behavior, Social Organization)
5. References


Profile

Picture: Leaf Muntjac (20 Kb JPEG)

The leaf muntjac is a small deer weighing about 11 kg (25 lb).  It is found in dense forest habitats at an elevation of  450 - 600 m (1500 - 2000'), where it is solitary and eats mostly fruit.

The leaf muntjac was first identified by scientists in 1997.  Its currently known range comprises the mountainous regions northeast of Putao and south of the Nam Tamai branch of the Mai Hka River in Myanmar.

Hunting with snares has apparently reduced the leaf muntjac's numbers over the last decade, even though it is not considered a particularly valuable species because of its small size and antlers.


Tidbits

*** The leaf muntjac is the smallest true deer in the world, standing about 60 - 80 cm (2 - 2.5') tall.

*** The scientific name selected for the leaf muntjac, Muntiacus putaoensis, refers to the town, Putao, nearest to where it was found in Myanmar. This follows the recent custom of naming newly identified mammal species for geographic locations near where they were first found. Such species include: the Truong Son muntjac, named Muntiacus truongsonensis for the Truong Son (formerly "Annamite") range of mountains in Vietnam; the saola, named Pseudoryx nghetinhensis for the two Vietnamese provinces Nghe An and Ha Tinh; the giant muntjac, named Megamuntiacus vuquangensis for the Vu Quang Nature Reserve in Vietnam; and the Tainguen civet, Viverra tainguensis, named for the Tainguen Plateau in Vietnam. (Amato et al. 1999, Rozhnov & Pham Trong Anh 1999, Wikramanayake 1999)

*** Muntjacs are also known as "barking deer" because they make a deep, barklike sound as a warning if they sense a predator nearby.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

  • 2003: The leaf muntjac has not yet been assessed by IUCN.

Countries Where the Leaf Muntjac Is Currently Found:

1999: Occurs in Myanmar (Amato et al. 1999).

History of Distribution:

The leaf muntjac's currently known range comprises the mountainous regions northeast of Putao and south of the Nam Tamai branch of the Mai Hka River in Myanmar (Rabinowitz & Khaing 1998).

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Hunting with snares has apparently reduced the leaf muntjac's numbers over the last decade, even though it is not considered a particularly valuable species because of its small size and antlers (Rabinowitz & Khaing 1998).


Data on Biology and Ecology

Weight:

The leaf muntjac weighs about 11 kg (25 lb).

Habitat:

The leaf muntjac is found in dense forest habitats at an elevation of  450 - 600 m (1500 - 2000'), the transition zone between tropical lowland forests and higher temperate forests (Rabinowitz 1998).

Early Development:

Young muntjacs are generally born in dense jungle growth, where they remain hidden until they can move around with their mother (Nowak 1999).

Diet:

The leaf muntjac eats mostly fruit (Rabinowitz 1998)

Behavior:

Both diurnal and nocturnal activity have been reported for muntjac species in general.

Social Organization:

The leaf muntjac is solitary (Rabinowitz 1998)


References

Amato et al. 1999, Lyons 1999, Nowak 1999, Rabinowitz 1998, Rabinowitz & Khaing 1998, Rozhnov & Pham Trong Anh 1999, Wikramanayake 1999


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Last modified: January 10, 2005;

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