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Resettling Musk Deer: New Promise to Increase Musk Output

Contact Author Gu Zhong and Li Hui
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Chinese scientists recently reported the initial success of a musk deer resettlement project which promises a way to expand musk deer distribution, and thus increase musk output.

Musk is a glandular secretion of the male musk deer, which begins to produce musk when two years old and remains productive until age 13. Musk is used in the East to make medicines and in the West to make perfumes.

China used to boast of having more than 90% of the worlds musk deer resources. However, due to excessive hunting and environmental deterioration, among other reasons, the musk deer population in China decreased rapidly from 2.5 million in the 1960s to 100,000 today. Musk output, which stabilized at around 2,000 kg a year in the 1960s, has dropped accordingly.

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