Deer-like species believed to be extinct rediscoverd after 30 years in Vietnam

Paris: A rare species of deer-like animal rediscovered after 30 years in the northwestern jungle of Vietnam. The species was believed to be extinct.

The Silver-backed Chevrotain or Mouse deer, which was believed to be extinct was last seen in 1990 according to a study published on Monday in the Nature Ecology and Evolution’s journal.

The species, Tragulus versicolor, was first recognized in 1910 based on the many animals found near Nha Trang, about 450 kilometres (280 miles) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.

Since the Mouse Deer hadn’t been seen in three decades, experts assumed that the species must have pushed to the verge of extinction by hunting.

However, Vietnamese biologist An Nguyen along with colleagues Barney Long and Andrew Tilker teamed up with the local villagers to look for the animal. They put up 30 motion-activated cameras in nearby forested habitats.

"The results were amazing. I was overjoyed when we checked the camera traps and saw photographs of a chevrotain with silver flanks," said Nguyen.

Tilker cautioned in a blog post however that "just because we found this species relatively easily doesn't mean it is not threatened".

A United Nations body of biodiversity experts, known as IPBES, had published a significant report in May warning that almost one million species are facing the threat of extinction due to humanity’s impact on Earth.

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