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An Ultimate Ungulate Fact Sheet
Tragulus nigricans
Balabac chevrotain
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Common name:
Scientific name:
Other names:
Balabac chevrotain
Tragulus nigricans
Philippine chevrotain, Pilandok

Physical Characteristics

Head and body length: 40-50 cm
Shoulder height: 18 cm
Tail length: 8 cm

The Balabac chevrotain is an overall dark-brown color, although each hair actually has three bands of color: a light base, an orange midsection, and a long black tip (this last section gives the chevrotain its dark appearance). The undersides are slightly lighter and the inner surfaces of the legs are white. The black throat is marked with three narrow white stripes which extend down from the white chin. The head is usually darker brown than the rest of the body, with bright orange eyebrow stripes. In males, the upper canine teeth are enlarged into little tusks which extend past the lip line as visible "fangs."

Similar species
  • Its dark coloration and distinctive range differentiates the Balabac chevrotain from other members of the genus Tragulus.

Reproduction and Development

Gestation period: Likely around 140-177 days (like other Tragulus mouse deer)
Litter size: 1, rarely 2.
Sexual maturity: Likely by 5 months of age (like other Tragulus mouse deer)
Life span: Potentially up to 14 years.

Ecology and Behavior

The Balabac chevrotain is mostly nocturnal, seeking shelter in the forest during the day. At night, they leave to forage in more open habitat and are often seen along roads in the headlights of vehicles.

Family group: Solitary, although pairs are sometimes seen.
Diet: Leaves.

Habitat and Distribution

The Balabac chevrotain is found only on the Philippine islands of Balabac (for which it is named), Ramos, and Bugsuc. Its preferred habitat is dense forest. The approximate range is depicted in the map below.

Range Map
(Redrawn from Meijaard and Groves, 2004; Widmann, 2015)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List: Endangered (2015).
CITES Listing: Not listed (2017).
Threats: Habitat loss (due to agriculture) and hunting.

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