The following information is available about the legal protection of musk deer in their range States:

  • Afghanistan: Musk deer are not legally protected.

  • Bhutan: Musk deer are totally protected by Royal Decree. Poachers may legally be shot on sight.

  • China: Musk deer are protected under the Wild Animal Protection Law 1988 as a Category II key species. Such Category II species may be taken in the wild only under permit granted by the provincial authority. In 1988, the Quinghai Provincial Government promulgated a special emergency notice under its regional wildlife protection laws to draw attention to the threat posed to musk deer species and to strengthen protection of the species. However, there are no indications that the protection of musk deer in China is effective in aiding the species. Efforts to establish a network of protected areas to conserve the Giant Panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca have indirectly contributed to the protection of Forest Musk Deer, since both species occur in the same habitat.

  • India: Musk deer have been fully protected since 1972 under the federal Wildlife (Protection) Act and cannot legally be hunted.

  • Kazakhstan: There are no provisions protecting musk deer.

  • Kyrgyzstan: There are no provisions protecting musk deer.

  • North Korea: Musk deer were designated “Natural Monument No. 216” in 1968 and are protected as a result. A Musk Deer Preservation Council was established in 1978 under the auspices of the Korean Wildlife Preservation Association.

  • Mongolia: Musk deer have been protected as an endangered species since 5 June 1995.

  • Myanmar: Musk deer have been protected since 1994 under the Nature and Wildlife Law.

  • Nepal: Musk deer have been totally protected since 1973 under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act.

  • Pakistan: There are no provisions protecting musk deer.

  • Russian Federation: All hoofed mammals (Ungulata) fall within the scope of the national hunting law which in part also regulates animal protection. Musk deer are hunted under licence, as explained (see Hunting in the Soviet Union and Russia), but regulations vary between krays (administrative territories). In some krays there are harvest quotas for musk deer and in others a prohibition of the hunting of musk deer. Regulations can vary from one year to another.

  • The Sakhalin Musk Deer, a rare subspecies, is the only musk deer to have been included in the Russian Federation’s Red List. The national Red List in Russia is also intended to constitute a list of those species afforded legal protection in the country. In the 1980s only about 5-8% of the Sakhalin Musk Deer population was found in protected areas.

  • Vietnam: Musk deer have been protected by law since 1963 and any exploitation is prohibited.

Source: Homes V. (1999). On the Scent: Conserving Musk Deer – the Uses of Musk and Europe’s Role in its Trade. TRAFFIC Europe.

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