Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hog deer make comeback

Hog deer make comeback

A new population of the endangered hog deer was recently discovered in Kratie province
A new population of the endangered hog deer was recently discovered in Kratie province. JEREMY HOLDEN/FFI

Hog deer make comeback

New populations of hog deer, Indochina’s most endangered breed of deer, have recently been discovered in Kratie and southwest Cambodia, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) said yesterday.

Discovered by a joint team from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and FFI, wild hog deer were found in five out of 10 potential areas of habitat.

Sarah Brook, species manager for FFI’s Cambodia program, explained that two subspecies of hog deer are known to exist, but while Indochinese hog deer were once prevalent in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Yunnan, in southern China, they have since died out in those areas.

“Cambodia is the only country in Indochina with any hog deer remaining. so this is a positive thing, it’s amazing that they are still surviving here (only just) – but it’s not too late to save them,” Brook wrote in an email yesterday.

Hog deer were last discovered in 2006 near Kratie province after villagers, camera trapping and preliminary surveys assessed that about 50 to 80 deer were in the area.

Prior to the 2006 discovery, only two locations had been identified as sustaining low numbers of hog deer populations, in the 1980s.

Dr Nick Souter, of the Royal University of Phnom Penh’s Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, working in tandem with FFI, said that while the latest batch of deer had been found outside of nationally protected land, working to increase their numbers was not impossible.

“We would prefer to find them surviving in protected areas only because [otherwise] it makes conservation efforts more difficult,” Souter said, adding that hunting and habitat degradation were the primary agents responsible for decimating the country’s population.

The WWF Cambodia Programme Office describes hog deer as relatively small with varying dark brown to yellow brown fur and white-tipped tails. The animals prefer tall, wet grasslands usually near medium or large rivers and typically avoid densely forested areas, Brook said.

“Hunting is the most significant threat for the remaining populations of hog deer in Cambodia – they are hunted for local consumption and possibly for the wild meat trade,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports