Muntiacus puhoatensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Muntiacus puhoatensis
Species Authority: Trai in Binh Chau, 1997
Common Name(s):
English Puhoat Muntjac
Taxonomic Notes: This species was accidentally described in a magazine article (Binh Chau 1997), based on material collected by Le Trong Trai from the Pu Hoat (mountain) region, in Hanh Dich Village, Hanh Dich Commune, Que Phong District, Nghe An Province, Viet Nam. The original material collected in October 1997 consisted of a single trophy frontlet with antlers (Le Trong Trai pers. comm. to R.J. Timmins pers. comm. 2008). Other specimens of small muntjacs were subsequently collected in the same area by Le Trong Trai and Do Tuoc, consisting of further trophy frontlets, tails and two nearly complete specimens (Le Trong Trai and Do Tuoc pers. comm. to R.J. Timmins pers. comm. 2008). A sample of tissue (reportedly from the initial trophy) was sent to P. Arctander (Le Trong Trai pers. comm. to R.J. Timmins pers. comm. 2008), and this appears to be basis for the claim made by P.M. Giao et al. (1998) of a new undescribed species of muntjac in Viet Nam. However, G. Amato (pers. comm. to R.J. Timmins 1998) was sent a partial sequence by P. Arctander, which he assumes was the sequence used as the basis for the latter claim of P.M. Giao et al. (1998). This sequence was intraspecifically comparable to that of M. rooseveltorum. If this sequence did in fact come from Le Trong Trai's material, specifically from the holotype, and bearing in mind that two species might have similar mtDNA (see Ballard and Whitlock 2004), M. puhoatensis may therefore be a junior subjective synonym of M. rooseveltorum. The tails do not belong to M. vaginalis and the trophies and two near-complete specimens correspond with the M. rooseveltorum complex (which includes also M. truongsonensis and M. putaoensis). Further morphological determination is not possible, because application of the name M. puhoatensis. can only be determined by reference to the holotype, which lacks morphological features for determination within the M. rooseveltorum species-complex; the other material from around the type locality cannot be assumed necessarily to come from the same species as the holotype because species within the M. rooseveltorum complex appear to be sympatric in parts of Lao PDR and Viet Nam (see M. rooseveltorum). Conservative reasoning suggests taking M. puhoatensis as synonymous with either M. rooseveltorum or M. truongsonensis (which was described a few weeks earlier) until otherwise proven different. Because it is not possible to determine with which of those it should be aligned, it is here kept distinct. See M. rooseveltorum for a fuller description of taxonomic issues in this species complex.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Timmins, R.J. & Duckworth, J.W.
Reviewer(s): Black, P.A. & Gonzalez, S. (Deer Red List Authority)
This species is listed as Data Deficient in view of the major taxonomic uncertainty concerning its status as a species-level taxon.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This nominal species is known only from the type locality in Viet Nam, specifically the Pu Hoat area in Que Phong District, Nghe An Province (Grubb 2005; Le Trong Trai pers. comm. to R.J. Timmins). See M. rooseveltorum for a fuller description of potential range.
Viet Nam
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This nominal species is known only from the type, which has insufficient material to allow morphological assignment of other material as conspecific (even that collected around the type locality), or even morphological confirmation that the species is distinct (R.J. Timmins pers. comm. 2008). Thus, there is no further information on possible populations. See M. rooseveltorum for a fuller description of potential status.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The region around the type locality is closed-canopy evergreen forest, on steep slopes above about 900 m asl with various forms of secondary and degraded forest, primarily on slopes, persisting below this (Le Trong Trai and Do Tuoc pers. comm. to R. J. Timmins 1999). Nothing is known about the species' natural history and ecology. See M. rooseveltorum for a fuller description of potential habitats.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to M. puhoatensis are likely to resemble those to other muntjac species in Indochina, and for large mammals in general. The most significant is hunting for subsistence and local and more widespread bushmeat trade intertwined with large scale snaring for species of international trade value (such as civets). The threat from habitat loss is relatively minor in comparison to the latter, although in the long term could significantly impact the species. Specific threat assessment is rendered impossible by the inability to determine the name’s taxonomic status, especially whether it constitutes a distinct species rather than a synonym, and if a distinct species what its range might encompass.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is most important to determine the taxonomic affinity of this name, especially whether it is a species-level taxon, rather than a junior synonym of an existing described species. Secondly it is important to determine the morphological and molecular characteristics which diagnose this taxon (if it is distinct), which in part would require collection of new material (preferably including whole animals) and conducting an analysis of the congruence of molecular and morphological data.

Citation: Timmins, R.J. & Duckworth, J.W. 2008. Muntiacus puhoatensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 23 December 2014.
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