IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st June, 2023 Environment

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  • A rare Indian mouse deer or spotted Chevrotain has been seen in the Kanger Valley National Park in Chhattisgarh.

About the Indian Mouse Deer

  • Of the 12 species of deer found in India, the mouse deer is one of the smallest ones.
  • Biological name: Moschiola Indica.
  • Indian Spotted Chevrotain or Indian Mouse Deer (Moschiola indica) is an Artiodactyl e. a species of even toed ungulate in the family Tragulidae.
  • It is the smallest deer in India and is highly nocturnal.
  • It is a rare species to spot in wild since it is very shy and of cryptic nature.
  • They are an ancient group of frugivorous ungulates, small-bodied and active both day and night. 
  • Other than being preyed upon by carnivores like dholes, tigers and leopards, Indian chevrotain plays an important ecological role as seed dispersers.


  • It is found mainly in rainforests of South Asia and Southeast Asia.
  • It is found in India, Sri Lanka and possibly Nepal.
  • It prefers living in dense forests.
  • They are often found in evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous forests, as well as in grassland and commercial plantations.


  • The species is facing serious threats due to wildfires, encroachment and poaching.


  • The conservation status of Indian mouse deer, according to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources), is Least Concern.


  • It forages on forest floor for fruits, roots, leaves and herbs.
  • It has occasionally been observed eating insects, crustaceans and even small mammals.


  • Head and body length in the species typically are 50 to 60 cm.
  • It is dull brown in colour with three to four dotted white stripes going longitudinally along flank.
  • The weight can reach between 3 to 4 kg.
  • The males have no antlers, like those of other deer, but have visible upper canines.
  • Most of the Chevrotains are digitigrades walking on toes only without letting heels to touch the ground.




Q) How many of the following statements with reference to Indian Mouse Deer is/are correct?

1. Most of the Chevrotains are digitigrades.

2. The conservation status of Indian mouse deer, according to IUCN is Vulnerable.

3. It prefers living in dense forests.

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Only 3
  4. None

Correct Answer: 2