Smithsonian Global

Conserving Eld's Deer in Myanmar

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Photo credit Bill McShea.




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For more than two decades, Smithsonian scientists have worked to conserve the critically endangered Eld’s deer, a species that once ranged throughout Southeast Asia from Vietnam to India. Today only about 2,500 deer remain in the wild, primarily in Myanmar and Cambodia.

Led by Smithsonian scientists Bill McShea, Melissa Songer, and Peter Leimgruber, researchers mapped the remaining dry tropical forest habitat that the Eld’s deer depend on and located a previously unknown population of Eld’s deer in the wild.

Smithsonian scientists consulted with the Government of Myanmar to develop a new Eld’s Deer Conservation Plan and worked with the Government of Norway to provide new funding for Chatthin Wildlife Sanctuary and other Eld’s deer sites in Myanmar.

Conservation research on Eld’s deer continues at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) located in Front Royal, Virginia. Here scientists Steven Monfort and Pierre Comizzoli have developed techniques for artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization for Eld’s deer. 



William McShea (Bill)  

Bill McShea is an ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) whose work focuses on the conservation of mammals and forests throughout East and Southeast Asia.

Melissa Songer (Mel)  

Melissa Songer is a conservation biologist researching ways to help sustain and restore species in the wild.     

Peter Leimgruber  

Peter Leimgruber is a landscape ecologist and conservation biologist studying biodiversity conservation of extinction-prone species including Asian elephant, Mongolian gazelle, Przewalski’s horse, tiger, and giant panda.