Muntiacus reevesi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Cervidae

Scientific Name: Muntiacus reevesi (Ogilby, 1839)
Common Name(s):
English Reeves' Muntjac, Chinese Muntjak, Formosan Reeves' Muntjac, Reeve’s Muntjac, Reeves's Muntjac
Cervulus bridgemani Lydekker, 1910
Cervulus micrurus Sclater, 1875
Cervulus reevesi ssp. pingshiangicus Hilzheimer, 1906
Cervulus sclateri Swinhoe, 1872
Cervulus sinensis Hilzheimer, 1905
Cervus lachrymans Milne-Edwards, 1871
Cervus reevesi Ogilby, 1839
Muntiacus lachrymans ssp. teesdalei Wroughton, 1914
Taxonomic Notes: Four subspecies are known:
Muntiacus reevesi jiangkouensis (mainland China);
Muntiacus reevesi reevesi (mainland China);
Muntiacus reevesi micrurus (Taiwan);
Muntiacus reevesi sinensis (Anhui and Zhejiang).

Wang (2003) also listed two undescribed subspecies, as “Yunnan form” (eastern Yunnan) and “Shaanxi/Gansu form” (southern Shaanxi and southern Gansu) but scientific names were not provided.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-03-31
Assessor(s): Timmins, J & Chan, B.
Reviewer(s): Brook, S.M. & McShea, W.J.
Contributor(s): Leasor, H., Chiang, P. & Pei, K.
The species has been considered Least Concern by previous assessments however the supporting justification for this is rather weak. For the 2016 reassessment Least Concern is again used, however with reservations; the species might well be better considered either Near Threatened or less likely Vulnerable on the basis of presumed declines that are likely to have taken place. Status assessment is complicated, the species has a relatively wide range in China, and threats faced by the species there vary very significantly between regions. In Taiwan and some better-managed reserves in mainland China for instance the populations appears to be stable, but in other parts of mainland China declines have probably been severe mainly due to hunting pressure; habitat loss potentially could be a more serious threat in some regions. The assessment of status is further complicated by presumed wide overlap with the Northern Red Muntjac M. vaginalis and quite possibly also animals in the M. rooseveltorum species complex.

In addition, it should be noted that some of the reason for the relative lack of concern for this species may stem from its abundance in the UK rather than from its status in its native range in China and Taiwan. This species should be re-assessed should additional information on its status become available.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species in endemic to China including Taiwan Island. In mainland China, this species ranges from Guangdong and Guangxi up to Gansu and Shaanxi, covering the vast subtropical region of the Zhujiang (Pearl) and Yangtze River catchment basins. The exact southern limit of this species is not clear, as old records from tropical Guangdong and Guangxi may be a result of misidentification of Muntiacus muntjak, as in the case of Hong Kong (Hill and Phillipps 1981, Shek 2006). Extensive camera trapping throughout South China in recent years put the southern species limit at north of 25°00’ at northern Guangxi (Chan, B. pers. comm.). The species has been introduced to England (where it is still present) and France (where it is no longer present) (Grubb 2005).
Countries occurrence:
China; Taiwan, Province of China
United Kingdom
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):50
Upper elevation limit (metres):3500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In China, no recent population estimates or estimates of population trend are available. Sheng (1992) estimated over two million animals in the 1980s. It is generally not considered to be highly threatened although the latest China red list categorizes the species as Vulnerable (Jiang et al. 2015). There is relatively little published information on the species in China, but camera trapping surveys have confirmed the species’ presence in most protected areas within its known range, where it was one of the most frequently detected species (B. Chan pers. comm. 2016). In Taiwan, where it is heavily exploited, the density was estimated at 9.3 animals/km² at elevations around, 2,000 m asl (McCullough et al. 2000), however, in areas without hunting and at lower elevations, the population density could be much higher (Chiang 2007).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species is adaptable and occurs in temperate forests with occasional snowfall as well as in dense forests in the warm subtropical zone. In China, Reeves’s Muntjac has been reported to occupy rocky places and open woodlands of pine and oak. It seeks cover in steep ravines, and usually has well defined areas to which it retreats (Smith and Xie 2008). It has also been reported to reach the highest densities in low mountains and hilly areas, at forest edges and in shrubby habitats (Sheng 1992). However, in Taiwan, it is found mostly in forested areas (Pei and Chiang 2004), typically in primary forest with dense canopy cover and it tends to avoid steep terrain (Chiang 2007). It is distributed over a wide elevation range, from near sea level to 3,500 m asl in habitats ranging from subtropical lowlands to coniferous forests/alpine grassland at the highest altitudes. However, there is a decreasing trend in abundance with increasing altitude (Chiang 2007). The species is basically solitary, although sometimes found in pairs or small family groups. Home ranges average about 100 ha, overlap considerably, and do not vary in size by gender. Females mature within the first year, with the majority of females reaching sexually maturity at eight months (Sheng 1992). It appears to lack strong seasonality in reproduction (Sheng 1992, Hayssen et al. 1993, Smith and Xie 2008). Gestation is 209-220 days. It grows new antlers in summer (peaking in June and July) (Pei and Liu 1994) (Sheng 1992, Pei and Chiang 2004) although velvet antlers were sporadically found throughout the year (Pei and Chiang 2004). In Taiwan, camera trapping data in remote areas with least human activities showed that Reeves’s Muntjac in Taiwan is crepuscular with significantly more diurnal than nocturnal activities (68% vs. 32%, Pei and Chiang 2004), which agreed with radio-telemetry results (McCullough et al. 2000), as well as those from mainland China (Chan unpublished data). It is most active during the 2 hours after sunrise and before sunset and seasonal variations of activity levels were more pronounced in the afternoon (Pei and Chiang 2004).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to this species include habitat destruction and hunting. It is hunted for food and, before hunting was banned, for hides which were used in the fur market. It remains one of the most heavily hunted large mammals based on news reports of seizures, although one could argue that this indicates the species’ resilience to hunting and habitat degradation (B. Chan pers. comm. 2016). Forest habitat is being lost in many parts of its range, in particular because of agriculture, logging and urbanization. However, there is no information on the overall rate of decline of this very widespread species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species seems to be relatively secure in appropriate habitat, but its range is in an area where there is a high human population density and very heavy exploitation of wildlife. There is a need to monitor this species' habitat and population levels. In China, the species is not protected by national laws, but is protected under provincial regulations in some provinces. It occurs in most protected areas within its wide range.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.7. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.7. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.2. National level
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.3. Sub-national level
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.3. Sub-national level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Chiang, P. J. 2007. Ecology and conservation of Formosan clouded leopard, its prey, and other sympatric carnivores in southern Taiwan. Thesis, Virginia Tech.

Grubb, P. 2005. Artiodactyla. In: D.E. Wilson & D.M. Reeder (ed.), Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), pp. 637-722. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

Hayssen, V., van Tienhoven, A. and van Tienhoven, A. 1993. Asdell's Patterns of Mammalian Reproduction: A Compendium of Species-specific Data. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Hill, D.S. and Philipps, K. 1981. A Colour Guide to Hong Kong Animals. Government Printer, Hong Kong.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Jiang, Z.G., Ma, Y., Wu, Y., Wang, YX, Zhou, K.Y., Liu, S.Y. and Feng, Z.J. 2015. China’s Mammal Diversity and Geographic Distribution. Science Press, Beijing.

McCullough, D. R., Pei, K. C. J. and Wang, Y. 2000. Home range, activity patterns, and habitat relations of Reeves' muntjacs in Taiwan. Journal of Wildlife Management 64: 430-441.

Pei, K. and Liu, H. W. 1994. Reproductive biology of male Formosan Reeves' muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi micrurus). Journal of Zoology (London) 233: 293-306.

Pei, K. J.-C. and Chiang, P. J. 2004. Present status and conservation of Formosan clouded leopard and other medium-to-large mammals at Tawu Nature Reserve and vicinities (3). Report Conservation Research Series No.92-02. Council of Agriculture, Taiwan Forestry Bureau.

Shek, C.T. 2006. A Field Guide to the Terrestrial Mammals of Hong Kong. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong.

Sheng, H.L. (ed.). 1992. The Deer in China. East China Normal University Press.

Smith, A.T. and Xie, Y. 2008. A Guide to the Mammals of China. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Wang, Y.X. 2003. A Complete Checklist of Mammal Species and Subspecies in China (A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference). China Forestry Publishing House, Beijing, China.

Citation: Timmins, J & Chan, B. 2016. Muntiacus reevesi. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T42191A22166608. . Downloaded on 25 June 2018.
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