Researchers from the Ministry of Environment have detected the Southern Serow (Capricornis sumatraensis) in protected areas by capturing it image on automatic cameras. The animal is a rare species and is listed on the IUCN Red List as globally endangered.
The species is listed in Annex 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Neth Pheaktra, spokesman for the environment ministry, said on July 7 that researchers discovered the Southern Serow, also known as Sumatran Serow, while collecting data on rare species in Cambodia.
“This rare animal is noted for its presence in protected areas in Cambodia, which provide important data for biodiversity conservation in the country as well as for the whole world,” he said.
Pheaktra said researchers do not have exact data on the animal’s numbers in Cambodia, adding that it has a low animal density number due to its rarity.
“Southern Serows are currently facing extinction due to poaching and habitat loss,” he said. “What makes the animal so endangered is because it is hunted for meat, horns and bones for trafficking and religious purposes.”
According to a study by the ministry, the animal is black-gray and has long, thin hair. It has a short body and four long legs. The upper part of the body is black and the lower part of the legs from the knees down is black, gray, and yellow. From the top of the head to the shoulders is a mane.
The Southern Serow has black horns like a goat, slightly curved backwards, about 280mm long, and a circular bend at the base. The tail is short with thick black and gray hairs.
According to biological studies, the animal lives in steep rocky places, valleys and forests with thick undergrowth.
The Southern Serow has hooves to walk on steep cliffs. During the day, it likes to rest in thick bushes and forage for food in the early morning or early evening. It likes to eat plant leaves, and prefers shallow caves as its habitat. Its presence can be detected by the animal’s piles of dung.
Pheaktra said because the animal is agile, has a good sense of smell, keen eyes and lives in isolated shelters, they are rarely encountered.
He said the breeding season is in October and December. It gives birth to one young, sometimes twins. The gestation period is about seven months, and the young lives with the mother for almost a year before leaving.