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Moschus anhuiensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CETARTIODACTYLA MOSCHIDAE

Scientific Name: Moschus anhuiensis
Species Authority: Wang, Hu & Yan, 1982
Common Name(s):
English Anhui Musk Deer
Taxonomic Notes: This species was formerly treated as a subspecies of Moschus berezovskii and Moschus moschiferus, but is now regarded as a valid species (see Li et al. 1999; Su et al. 2001a,b)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Wang, Y. & Harris, R.B.
Reviewer(s): Black, P.A. & Gonzalez, S. (Deer Red List Authority)
Justification:
Listed as Endangered because of a probable serious population decline, estimated to be more than 50% over the last three generations (approximately 21 years), inferred from over-exploitation, shrinkage in distribution, and habitat destruction and degradation. Although there is no direct data available regarding recent declining population rates, the above-mentioned rate of decline seems reasonable based on the high levels of harvesting and habitat loss. It should also be noted that:
1) The last population assessment accounted for only 700 to 800 individuals living in the wild (Sheng 1998), though the basis for these numbers is not clear. However, if these numbers were correct at the time, and if there has been a subsequent significant decline, the species could perhaps also qualify for listing as Endangered under criteria C2a(i) or C2a(ii).
2) The distribution range of the species is not much greater than 5,000 km². It probably qualifies for listing as Vulnerable under criterion B1ab(iii,v).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is found only in and around the Mount Dabie area of west Anhui province in China (Smith and Xie 2008). It might also occur in the Hubei section of Mount Dabei.
Countries:
Native:
China
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no information available on the population size or trends. It is estimated by Wang Yingxiang (Kunming Institute of Zoology pers. comm., 2008) to have been reduced in geographic distribution by 70% in the 30 years between 1957 and 1977. According to Sheng (1998), the total population was only 700-800 in 1985. In Mazongling Nature Reserve, a survey in 1993 estimated that only 6-8 remained above 1,000 m asl. A 1995 survey suggested that the species was still declining, although Yang et al. (2003) suggested that its status has recently improved. There have been no published surveys since that time.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is poorly known; however, its natural history is likely similar to that of M. berezovskii and M. moschiferus (Smith and Xie 2008). It presumably therefore inhabits coniferous or broad-leaved forests, or mixed forests at high elevations According to Smith and Xie (2008), it is more likely than other musk deer to produce twins. Females mature rapidly and are capable of breeding in their first year of life.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to this species include habitat loss and hunting, and it is especially at risk due to its limited distribution (Smith and Xie 2008). The musk produced by this genus of primitive deer is highly valued for its cosmetic and alleged pharmaceutical properties, and can fetch U.S. $45,000 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) on the international market. Although this musk, produced in a gland of the males, can be extracted from live animals, most "musk-gatherers" kill the animals to remove the entire sac, which yields only about 25 grams (1/40 of a kilogram) of the brown waxy substance. Such poaching is relatively easy to accomplish and difficult to stop using only legal means (Harris 2007).

Musk deer appear to require dense vegetation, either in the form of intact forests or shrublands; thus excessive forest clearing or grazing can preclude musk deer from using such lands (Yang et al. 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on CITES Appendix II and on the First Category of State Key Protected Wildlife List in China since 2002, and as Endangered (B1ab(i,ii,iii)+2ab(i,ii,iii)) in the Chinese Red List (Wang and Xie 2004). Measures, are urgently needed to control hunting in this species, and to protect its habitat on Mount Dabie. It is not known from any protected areas. There is a need to determine the species population size, natural history, and the extent of threats to the species.

Citation: Wang, Y. & Harris, R.B. 2008. Moschus anhuiensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 October 2014.
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