Vietnamese mouse-deer thought to be extinct spotted on camera for first time in 30 years
What a lad.
A Vietnamese mouse-deer thought to be lost to extinction has been spotted on camera for the first time in 30 years.
The silver-backed chevrotain, which is about the size of a rabbit, was last documented almost three decades ago.
It was later feared that they had become extinct due to poaching, but the shy animal has recently reemerged, caught on camera near the Vietnamese city of Nha Trang, by the Global Wildlife Conservation.
The mouse-deer is the first successful rediscovery from the group's list of top 25 most wanted lost species.
“For those of us living in Vietnam and working in wildlife conservation, the question of whether the chevrotain was still out there and if so, where, has been nagging us for years,” said conservation scientist An Nguyen.
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“There was very little information available to point us in the right direction and we didn’t know what to expect.
"That we were able to find it with so few leads and in a relatively short period of time shows how a little bit of effort and willpower can go a long way in finding some of these special species lost to science.”
Nguyen's team decide to set up camera traps in the areas where locals had reported seeing the creature.
The biologist said that what they found on the footage was "amazing."
"I was overjoyed when we checked the camera traps and saw photographs of a chevrotain with silver flanks," she said.
"With three camera traps left in the field for five months, we were able to get 275 photos of the species. The Silver-backed Chevrotain went from being lost for at least 30 years, to found really within a matter of months."
A wider team is now working to determine how many silver-backed chevrotain exist in the region - and how stable the population is.
Images via Global Wildlife Conservation.