Leaf Muntjac (Muntiacus putaoensis) - Wiki
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The leaf muntjac or leaf deer (Muntiacus putaoensis) is a small species of muntjac. It was discovered very recently, in 1997, by biologist Alan Rabinowitz during his field study in the isolated Hukawng Valley in Myanmar. He managed to obtain specimens, from which DNA analysis revealed a new cervid species.
Distribution and habitat
The leaf muntjac is uniquely found in dense forests of Myanmar, in the Hukawng Valley region to the Northeast of Putao, hence its scientific epithet, and to the south of the Nam Tamai branch of the Mai Hka River. It is found at an altitude of 450 to 600 m ??? the transition zone between tropical forests and temperate ones. In 2002, it was discovered also to exist in Namdapha Tiger Reserve in eastern Arunachal Pradesh, India (see Current Science, vol. 84, p. 454). It probably inhabits suitable habitat over the entire junction of the P??tkai Bum and the Kumon Taungdan ranges.
The species stands only 60-80 cm in height, making it one of the smallest deer in the world. Its weight is usually about 11 kg. Local names include lugi-che (easternmost Arunachal Pradesh) and phet-gyi (Myanmar), both meaning 'muntjac small enough to be wrapped in a Phrynium leaf for transport'. The English name is derived from this.
Leaf muntjacs live alone and seem to be both nocturnally and diurnally active.
The leaf muntjac feeds mostly on fruits.
Despite the small size of the animal and its antlers, hunting has considerably reduced the leaf muntjac population. Loss of habitat represents also another considerable threat. From circumstantial evidence, it appears that hunting pressure is lower in India, where the leaf deer is not often hunted intentionally.
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