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PHNOM PENH — New members of a critically endangered deer species have been caught on camera in Virachey National Park in northeastern Cambodia, Ministry of Environment’s spokesperson Neth Pheaktra said in a statement issued on July 8.
“Camera traps set in remote areas of the park have recorded video of the elusive large-antlered muntjac, Muntiacus vuquangensis, confirming the presence of multiple individual muntjac,” Pheaktra said. The deers are also called Giant Muntjac.
Conducted by the Department of Eastern Mekong Terrestrial Protected Areas Conservation of the Ministry of Environment in cooperation with the NGO Fauna and Flora, the recent biodiversity surveys proved the importance of Virachey National Park for this rare species, he said.
As Pheaktra explained, Fauna and Flora’s previous survey had detected a Muntjac mother and fawn, indicating a breeding population in the national park. “Additional records of the species are an encouraging confirmation of its continued survival,” he said.
“However, this species is at risk of extinction due to the threat of extreme poaching and snaring pressure throughout their range,” Pheaktra said. Protecting them will call for the effective use of data and available knowledge to support on-the-ground conservation work in the remaining refuge of the large-antlered muntjac, he said.
Virachey National Park where Giant Muntjac deers were seen for the first time in 2021 is the only known home of this critially endangered species in Cambodia.