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Sika Deer pp 521-539 | Cite as

Sika Deer in Mainland China

  • Dale R. McCullough
  • Zhi-Gang Jiang
  • Chun-Wang Li

Of the 13 commonly recognized subspecies of sika deer (Cervus nippon) in the world, five were originally found in mainland China. Due to hunting and habitat loss and fragmentation, populations of wild sika deer declined to near-extinction. Today there are only three subspecies, C. n. hortulorum, C. n. sichuanicus, and C. n. kopschi, still living in mainland China; C. n. mandarinus and C. n. grassianus are thought to be extinct. The total number of wild sika deer in China today is approximately 8,500. In addition, about 290,000 sika deer are farmed in China. Of the three subspecies, the south China sika deer (C. n. kopschi) is the most endangered. Sika deer were listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as Endangered in 1996 and 2003, and in the China Red Data Book of Endangered Animals as endangered. Therefore, they have been listed as a National Class I Protected Wild Animal Species of China. Since the 1970s more than 17 nature reserves have been established for saving the wild sika deer in Sichuan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Gansu provinces, and in the northeastern part of China. Studies of genetics indicated that the small sika deer populations occurring in Qingliangfeng (Zhejiang Province) and Taohongling (Jiangxi Province) are somewhat different from the other Chinese populations, and they are deserving of special conservation effort. Human population pressures continue to impact the remnants of sika deer in the wild, and loss of genetic diversity is likely to occur in the remaining deer in isolated, small subpopulations.

Keywords

Nature Reserve Sichuan Basin English Summary Gansu Province Jilin Province 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale R. McCullough
    • Zhi-Gang Jiang
      • 1
    • Chun-Wang Li
      • 1
    1. 1.Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation BiologyInstitute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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