In a groundbreaking revelation, the elusive silver-backed chevrotain, a petite deer species with fangs not seen since 1990, has been captured on camera for the first time in Vietnam. Once thought extinct, this remarkable discovery positions the chevrotain as the first mammal from the Global Wildlife Conservation’s “Top 25 Most Wanted Lost Species” to be rediscovered in the ongoing “Search for Lost Species” initiative.
The momentous event unfolded in southern Vietnam and was officially documented in the prestigious scientific journal “Nature Ecology & Evolution” on November 11.
An Nguyen, an associate conservation scientist leading the expedition team for the Global Wildlife Conservation, expressed surprise and elation, stating: “We had no idea what to expect, so I was surprised and overjoyed when we checked the camera traps and saw photographs of a chevrotain with silver flanks”.
The rediscovery holds significance beyond the mere sighting, offering hope for biodiversity conservation in Vietnam. Hoang Minh Duc, head of the Southern Institute of Ecology’s Department of Zoology, emphasized its broader implications, stating: “The rediscovery of the silver-backed chevrotain provides big hope for the conservation of biodiversity, especially threatened species, in Vietnam”.
With the silver-backed chevrotain in the spotlight, scientists are now focusing on assessing its population size and stability, a crucial step in understanding the threats it faces. Additional camera traps will be strategically placed in two areas to collect valuable data, informing the development of a comprehensive conservation plan for this extraordinary species.
The rediscovery of the silver-backed chevrotain kindles hope for the future of biodiversity in Vietnam, emphasizing the need for dedicated efforts to safeguard the country’s natural heritage.