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Greater chevrotains in captivity

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by vogelcommando, 18 Sep 2016.

  1. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Chevrotains have never been wide-spread in zoos and the general public pays normanly little intrest in these species.
    Of the 6 species ( genus Tragulus ) 3, have some captive history : the Javan lesser, the Balabac ( or Philippine ) and the Greater mouse deer.
    Of these I've sofar seen only the Javan lesser and the Balabac chevrotain in life and both these species seem to be "European specialities" - are there any in US-zoos ?
    The 3th species with some captive-history, the Greater mouse deer is a real "American speciality". I know of only 2 Russian collections keeping the species, the rest of collections keeping it are in the USA.
    I found a note that the Bronx Zoo started breeding this species with a founder-group of 1 male and 2 ( or 3 ? ) females and that all other animals in the US are descedants of these 3 or 4 animals !
    Can anybody give some more information about the current American population ( which zoos are keeping / breeding them and howmany ) and are the 3 or 4 start-animals still the only founders or have there been new imports I'm not aware of ?
     
  2. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure that there are no Greater Mouse Deer at one of the Singapore Zoos and/or at Malaysian Zoos (and probably in Japan, Taiwan, China or Indonesia)?
     
  3. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, you're right zoomanic, I was to much focust on "western" zoos but I'm quite sure they are kept in at least some South-East Asian zoos !
     
  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    there are lots of greater mouse deer in Asian zoos, and also Sri Lankan mouse deer in various places. I doubt there are many, if any, Javan mouse deer (T. javanicus) in Europe; they would probably mostly/all be lesser mouse deer (T. kanchil) from other parts of southeast Asia (Javan mouse deer is endemic to Java).
     
  5. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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  6. DDcorvus

    DDcorvus Well-Known Member

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    There are accounts from lesser mouse deer bred in Rotterdam zoo as early as 1870 and Indonesia stayed a source of many animals for Dutch zoos till it became independent. So Javan mouse deer most likely have been imported. The question is how many bred and how many lines managed to make it to the founders of the current population. At the moment we still don't know.
     
  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    yep, exactly. If there were records for the breedings and imports which formed the current populations then it would just be a matter of someone compiling them all (and I guess making some judgement calls on whether animals imported from, say, Malaysia, were actually Malaysian and not Javan in origin...).

    But really I imagine the current animals are a mix of kanchil, javanicus and hybrids, and I think only DNA testing all of them would sort it out.
     
  8. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    that's from the Handbook of the Mammals of the World, which follows Groves' splitting with ten species.

    Greater Mouse-Deer (Tragulus napu)
    Philippine Mouse-Deer (Tragulus nigricans)
    Vietnam Mouse-Deer (Tragulus versicolor)
    Java Mouse-Deer (Tragulus javanicus)
    Lesser Mouse-Deer (Tragulus kanchil)
    Williamson's Mouse-Deer (Tragulus williamsoni)
    Indian Spotted Chevrotain (Moschiola indica)
    Sri Lankan Spotted Chevrotain (Moschiola memina)
    Yellow-striped Chevrotain (Moschiola kathygre)
    Water Chevrotain (Hyemosuchus aquaticus)

    I haven't got the book, so someone else will have to look at the plate and say exactly which species is which.
     
  10. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    Number 7 is grey-necked and red-necked Javan and 5 is klossi Lesser, but that is neither the final version of the plate found in the book (e.g., final also has ravus Lesser) nor do the colors on the net version match those in the book (I've checked four separate platforms running various OS's: 2xApple+1xGoogle+1xMicrosoft). Since the split I've been checking a large number of photos of wild chevrotains and museum skins of known origin, and kept a close eye on chevrotains in zoos. In the American, European, Japanese, Thai and Singapore zoos I've visited in that period, I've not seen any that clearly matched Javan (or for that matter the few Lesser subspecies that are near-identical to red-necked Javan). I may be wrong, but I would be very surprised if a genetic testing of the zoos animals resulted in anything but pure Lesser and perhaps Lesser x Javan hybrids. No pure Javan. The situation in Indonesian zoos could easily be different.
     
  11. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    As far as I'm aware, greater mouse deer are the only species kept in the USA. I've never even heard of the other two species, nor have I seen them anywhere. They are kept at quite a few establishments, although I'm not sure the exact number because they are so often overlooked.
     
  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    it seems like the lessers are all gone from North America now, and the Philippine mouse deer are all from very recent imports to Europe so weren't in America to begin with (although may have been kept in earlier times).

    For some reason Moschiola (the spotted mouse deer of India and Sri Lanka) have barely been in zoos at all outside of Asia.
     
  13. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    While it's true Groves and Grubb split Tragulus, the IUCN does recognize their splits unlike some of the others from the book. Tragulus splits were several years prior to Ungulate Taxonomy.
     
  14. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't have a problem with any of the Tragulus splits; they aren't in the same barrel as many of Groves' other splits (and all of them were Groves' splits anyway, just well before he published Ungulate Taxonomy).

    T. napu, kanchil, javanicus, nigricans and versicolor are all well regarded as being good species. T. williamsoni is known from only one specimen. But I think the only reason Groves didn't produce more species from Tragulus is that he didn't examine many of the insular races.

    For Moschiola I can't see that the three-way split is acceptable. There has been a trend for splitting Sri Lankan species up based on "dry-zone" and "wet-zone" and "hill-zone" (as with the endemic palm civet, which I think is an unsustainable position). The IUCN does separate three Moschiola species (dry-zone, wet-zone, and Indian) but they appear cautious about doing so - they specifically note the very small sample sizes of Groves [which seems to be standard for his work...] - and they don't accept the proposed hill-zone split.