Oral Presentation- Symposium 12th International Mammalogical Congress

The Red List status of Old World deer and matters of conservation concern (#421)

William McShea 1 , Sarah Brook 2
  1. Smithsonian Institution, Front Royal, Virginia, United States of America
  2. Flora & Fauna International , Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Most deer species are distributed from Europe through mainland Asia and into Southeast Asia and the Philippine archipelago. These 51 species, including 6 species of mouse deer (Tragulus), fall into 3 broad categories of concern: A suite of deer species that are widespread across Europe and reaching into Asia where 5 of the species are increasing due to effective habitat and hunter management; a suite of deer throughout Asia (26 species) and the islands (9 species) that declined precipitously within the past 50 years and either their numbers have not recovered or have continued to decline; or a suite of 10 species of small deer whose genetics and population status are still being determined.  At least 8 of the larger species have been established in Australia and New Zealand for hunting purposes and populations are increasing. Within several of the broadly distributed species there is concern that declines in sub-species have been masked by stability in the main distribution. An example of this are relict populations of red deer (Cervus elaphus) throughout central and south Asia. There is a critical need for focus on the smaller deer species, whose cryptic nature and naturally low densities prevents accurate surveys, and this lack of knowledge may be masking true declines. Recent examples of sudden declines and unknown status are the hog deer (Axis porcinus) and bawean deer (Axis kuhlii) which have not attracted international attention despite marked concern by the Deer Specialist Group.