DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionThe Indian Chevrotain inhabits most of the India, from Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the far south, north to at least 24°N, i.e. Mandla, Hoshangabad, Palamau and near Udaipur (Rajasthan) at 24°04′N (Tehsin 1980, Groves and Meijaard 2005). The northern limit has been muddled in past and current literature. Champion (1929) strongly doubted the occurrence of chevrotains in Nepal, and originated a now commonly-held view its northern limit lay at about 24°N. Most of the subsequent major reviews have followed this and have thus omitted Nepal from the species’s range (Corbet and Hill 1992; Groves and Meijaard 2005; Grubb 2005); this overlooks several valid records from the country. Hodgson (1841) stated that chevrotains occurred at Vulgo Bijay in the terai. Many of Hodgson’s Nepal specimens came from Sikkim and Bhutan, outside the modern boundary of Nepal (see e.g. Hinton and Fry 1923), but there are no indications that any species of chevrotain occurs in these areas, so this standard explanation cannot, therefore, be used for the presence of the species in Hodgson’s Nepal list, and it was therefore retained as a Nepal inhabitant by Hinton and Fry (1923). Hodgson’s statement was vindicated by Mitchell and Punzo (1976), who obtained a specimen (a partial skeleton from a decomposed carcase, supplied by hunters) and saw two live wild chevrotains in Sal Shorea robusta forest at Mahadeva, Banke District (28°13′N, 81°56′E; 220 m asl), and observed a live wild chevrotain in tall elephant grass at Tamispur, Nawal Parsi District (27°34′N, 83°57′E; 90 m asl) on 15 February 1968. Mitchell and Punzo’s (1976) records were simply overlooked, not rejected, by Groves and Meijaard (2005) (C. P. Groves pers. comm. 2008) and presumably the other reviews. Other Nepal records include a live animal displayed some years ago in the Nepal zoo collected from the country’s lowlands (K. Shah per Hem Sagar Baral pers. comm. 2008), a specimen held at the Kathmandu Natural History Museum labelled ‘West Nepal below 300 m’, and several reports from foresters of direct sightings in the lowlands (Hem Sagar Baral pers. comm. 2008). Suitable habitat, which would always have been limited in the country, has been mostly lost (Hem Sagar Baral in litt. 2008).