Reeves’muntjac populations continue to grow and spread across Great Britain and are invading continental Europe.
European Journal of Wildlife Research (2021) 67:34. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-021-01478-2.
The appropriate response for controlling an invasive non-native species depends on the extent to which its invasion has progressed, which can be revealed by information on its distribution and abundance. Reeves’muntjac is a native deer to China and Taiwan, but has been introduced and become well-established in Great Britain. Moreover, in recent years, reports and verified records in the wild from other European countries have become more frequent. We reviewed the status of Reeves’ muntjac in Britain and evaluated its national range expansion from 2002 to 2016. While the British population appears to have tripled in size since 1995, the rate at which it has expanded its range seems to have peaked at approximately 12% per year between 2002 and 2005 and has since declined. We also consolidated observations on its international distribution, including a conservative evaluation of its presence in zoological collections. We predict that this species could expand its range to include every European country, although the availability of suitable landcover and climate is likely to vary substantially between countries. To prevent the significant impacts to conservation interests that have been observed in Great Britain from extending across Europe, national administrations should consider eradicating Reeves’muntjac while that is still feasible.