Muntiacus truongsonensisAnnamite muntjac

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Geographic Range

Muntiacus truongsonensis (Annamite Muntjac) is indigenous to the highland ranges of Indochina. It is named after the Annamite Mountain Range in Vietnam where it was discovered. Its presence has been confirmed in the Hoang Lien Son Range in the Lao Cai province of Vietnam and Southern Laos. Its range limits are unknown but are thought to closely resemble those of Muntiacus rooseveltorum, with the exception that M. truongsonensis extends into higher elevations. (Duckworth and Pine, 2003; Giao, et al., 1998; Sterling and Hurley, 2006; Wilson and Reeder, 2005)

Habitat

Muntiacus truongsonensis is a mountain dwelling cervid, found in dense, tropical, secondary, evergreen forests. Elevations where M. truongsonensis can be found extend up to and possibly exceed 1,000 m. (Giao, et al., 1998; Timmins, et al., 2008a)

  • Range elevation
    1000 (high) m
    3280.84 (high) ft

Physical Description

Muntiacus truongsonensis is one of the smaller members of Muntiacus. The exact size of M. truongsonensis is unknown, but it has been described to be approximately 15 kg by local hunters. It has black fur on its legs and bright orange fur on its head. Dorsal pelage is brown and it has a broad flat tail with black dorsal fur and long white ventral fur which distinguishes it from its similar sized relative, Muntiacus rooseveltorum. It has white rings surrounding each hoof. Similar to other muntjac species, M. truongsonensis has ridges running from the top of the snout to the apex of the head, which give rise to short, simple, burred antlers that are hidden by tufts of long fur at the top of the head. Like those of many species of Muntiacus, the canines of M. truongsonensis are long and tusk-like. Muntiacus truongsonensis is the only muntjac species in which females and males have similarly sized canines. No description has been given of juvenile M. truongsonensis. However, many related cervids, including species in Muntiacus, have young with spotted coats. (Giao, et al., 1998; Macdonald, 2001; Sterling and Hurley, 2006; Vrba, 2000)

Reproduction

The mating system of Muntiacus truongsonensis is unknown. Other species in the genus, including Muntiacus vaginalis and Muntiacus reevesi, mate year round. Male M. reevesi defend territories that overlap with those of females. Males compete for mates by locking antlers and pushing against each other. They use their tusks to scratch the faces and necks of rival males. Both sexes of M. reevesi are semi-vocal. Males "buzz" when approaching a female in estrus, and receptive females whine and lower their heads to males. (Deuling and Myers, 2004; Timmins, et al., 2008b; Yahner, 1979)

Members of Muntiacus living in similar habitats as Muntiacus truongsonensis, such as M. reevesi and M. vaginalis, are polygynous and aseasonal breeders. Gestation is variable in Muntiacus. For example, gestation in Muntiacus muntjak lasts for 180 days, while that of M. reevesi lasts for 210 days. (Barrette, 1977; Deuling and Myers, 2004; Macdonald, 2001; Timmins, et al., 2008b; Yahner, 1979)

There is no information available regarding parental investment in Muntiacus truongsonensis, but it is probably similar to that of close relatives. Muntiacus reevesi exhibits minimal parental care and weans offspring at 17 weeks. Like many small cervids in enclosed environments (e.g., forests), M. truongsonensis likely has young that exhibit hiding behavior in which young lie and hide for extended periods of time, while mothers wander off to graze and then return periodically to nurse. (Deuling and Myers, 2004; Fisher, et al., 2002)

  • Parental Investment
  • pre-fertilization
    • provisioning
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • female

Lifespan/Longevity

No information was found on the longevity of M. truongsonensis in the wild or captivity.

Behavior

Muntiacus truongsonensis is solitary and is social only during breeding season. No other information is available concerning the general behavior of M. truongsonensis (Giao, et al., 1998; McCullough, et al., 2000; Vrba, 2000)

Home Range

The home range of Muntiacus truongsonensis is unknown. The average home range of Muntiacus reevesi is about 108 ha, and have a core area that they use most heavily and actively defend. Overall, range size appears to be independent of topography or resource availability. (McCullough, et al., 2000)

Communication and Perception

Many species of Muntiacus are somewhat vocal, but it is not known if M. truongsonensis is included among them. Males "buzz" when approaching a female in estrus, and receptive females whine and lower their heads to males. Vocal species use barking as an alarm system to warn of potential dangers such as predators. (Yahner, 1980)

Food Habits

Little is known about the diet of Muntiacus truongsonensis. While most munjacs are herbivorous, M. reevesi is known to be omnivorous, eating carrion and small animals. Other species of Muntiacus, such as Muntiacus vaginalis, are generalist herbivores eating a wide range of flora including fruit, twigs, seeds and foliage. (Deuling and Myers, 2004; Macdonald, 2001; Timmins, et al., 2008b)

Predation

A range of large predators including tigers, leopards, and crocodiles commonly prey upon many muntjacs. Humans are the only confirmed predator of M. truongsonensis. Potential predatory defense mechanisms of M. truongsonensis are unknown. (Deuling and Myers, 2004; Giao, et al., 1998; Yahner, 1980)

Ecosystem Roles

Little is known about the ecosystem roles of Muntiacus truongsonensis. However, close relatives have been described as important seed predators and dispersers and their barking has been suggested to act as a warning system to small mammals. (Chen, et al., 2001; Deuling and Myers, 2004; Timmins, et al., 2008a; Yahner, 1980)

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Muntiacus truongsonensis, like many other muntjacs, is hunted for their meat and their skins. (Deuling and Myers, 2004; Giao, et al., 1998)

  • Positive Impacts
  • food
  • body parts are source of valuable material

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known adverse effects of Muntiacus truongsonensis on humans.

Conservation Status

Little is known of the potential conservation needs of Muntiacus truongsonensis, due in part to the difficulty of distinguishing it from closely related muntjacs species. As a result, this species is classified as "data defficient" on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. Possible threats include hunting and habitat loss. (Timmins, et al., 2008a; Trimmins and Cuong, 2001)

Other Comments

Muntiacus truonsonensis was thought to be the rediscovered Muntiacus rooseveltorum as they share similar appearance. However, genetic tests have revealed that M. truongsonensis is indeed a unique species. It is one of a number of artiodactyls discovered at the end of the 20th century in the Oriental region. The late discovery is due to a lack of research in the Truong Son Range. This area borders Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and has a history of warfare and instability. (Mackinnon, 2000; Vrba, 2000)

Contributors

Emilia Breitenbach (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, John Berini (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.

Glossary

acoustic

uses sound to communicate

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

endothermic

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

food

A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.

forest

forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.

iteroparous

offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

oriental

found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

World Map

pheromones

chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species

rainforest

rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.

scent marks

communicates by producing scents from special gland(s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

solitary

lives alone

tactile

uses touch to communicate

terrestrial

Living on the ground.

tropical

the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

visual

uses sight to communicate

viviparous

reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.

References

Barrette, C. 1977. Fighting Behavior of Muntjac and the Evolution of Antlers. Evolution, 31: 169-176. Accessed April 15, 2011 at http://www.jstor.org/stable/2407555.

Chen, J., B. Deng, L. Bai, Q. Chen, L. Yong, Z. Lui. 2001. Fruit Characteristics and Muntiacus muntijak vaginalis (Muntjac) Visits to Individual Plants of Choerospondias axillaris. Biotropica, Vol. 33, No. 4: 718-722. Accessed April 06, 2011 at http://www.jstor.org/stable/3593176.

Deuling, S., P. Myers. 2004. "Muntiacus reevesi" (On-line). Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 16, 2011 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Muntiacus_reevesi.html.

Duckworth, J., R. Pine. 2003. English names for a world list of mammals, exemplified by species of Indochina. Mammal Review, 33: 151-173. Accessed March 13, 2011 at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2907.2003.00012.x/full.

Fisher, D., S. Blomberg, I. Owens. 2002. Convergent Maternal Care Strategies in Ungulates and Macropods. Evolution, 56: 167-176. Accessed April 17, 2011 at http://www.jstor.org/stable/3061529 ..

Giao, P., D. Tuoc, V. Dung, E. Wikramanayake, G. Amato, P. Arctander, J. Mackinnon. 1998. Description of Muntiacus truongsonensis, a new species of muntjac (Artiodactyla: Muntiacidae) from Central Vietnam, and implications for conservation. Animal Conservation, 1: 61-68. Accessed March 13, 2011 at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-1795.1998.tb00227.x/pdf.

Macdonald, D. 2001. The New encyclopedia of mammals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mackinnon, J. 2000. New Mammals in the 21st century?. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 87: 63-66. Accessed March 14, 2011 at http://www.jstor.org/stable/2666208.

McCullough, K., C. Pei, Y. Wang. 2000. Home Range, Activity Patterns, and Habitat Relations of Reeves' Muntjacs in Taiwan. The Journal of Wildlife Managment, 64: 430-441. Accessed April 17, 2011 at http://www.jstor.org/stable/3803241.

Sterling, E., M. Hurley. 2006. Vietnam: a natural history. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Timmins, R., J. Duckworth, A. Pattanavibool, R. Steinmetz, N. Samba Kumar, I. Anwarul, H. Sagar Baral. 2008. "Muntiacus vainalis" (On-line). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed April 07, 2011 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/136551/0.

Timmins, R., J. Duckworth, B. Long. 2008. "Muntiacus Truongsonensis" (On-line). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed March 13, 2011 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/44704/0.

Trimmins, R., T. Cuong. 2001. An Assessment of the Conservation Importance of the Huong Son (Annamite) Forest, Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam, Based on the Results of a Field Study For Large Mammals and Birds. New York: The American Museum of Natural History. Accessed March 14, 2011 at cbc.amnh.org/center/pubs/pdfs/timmins.pdf.

Vrba, E. 2000. Antelopes, deer, and relatives : fossil record, behavioral ecology, systematics, and conservation. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wilson, D., D. Reeder. 2005. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Yahner, R. 1980. Barking in a Primative Ungulate, Muntiacus reevesi: Function and Adativeness. The American Naturalist, 116: 157-177. Accessed April 15, 2011 at http://www.jstor.org/stable/2460670.

Yahner, R. 1979. Temporal Patterns in Male Mating Behavior of Captive Reeve's Muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi). Journal of Mammology, 60: 560-567. Accessed April 15, 2011 at http://www.jstor.org/stable/1380097.