The population of the vulnerable eastern swamp deer, extinct elsewhere in South Asia, has dipped in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.
About Swamp Deer
- The animal is now distributed to areas beyond the park known as the world’s best address of the one-horned rhinoceros.
- The eastern swamp deer is endemic to Kaziranga and is not the primary prey of the park’s carnivores, primarily the tiger.
- But its population is crucial for the ecological health of the tiger reserve and the encouraging sign is the animal has now moved to other areas such as Orang National Park and Laokhowa-Burachapori wildlife sanctuaries.
- The eastern swamp deer was once concentrated in the central Kohora and Bagori ranges of Kaziranga.
- Barasingha or Rucervus duvaucelii is the state animal of Madhya Pradesh.
- The swamp deer is endemic to Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR).
- KNPTR is on the Maikal range of the Satpura hills, and is spread over an area of 940 square kilometres between Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh.
- They are already extinct in Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is now found only in south- western Nepal and central and northeastern India.
- There are three subspecies of the species found in the Indian Subcontinent.
- The western swamp deer (Rucervus duvaucelii) found in Nepal, southern swamp deer (Rucervus duvaucelii branderi) found in central and north India and eastern swamp deer (Rucervus duvaucelii ranjitsinhi) found in the Kaziranga and Dudhwa National Parks.
- The southern swamp deer has hard hooves and is adapted to hard ground. The other two subspecies are adapted to swampy areas.
- Protection Status of Swamp Deer:
- IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
- CITES: Appendix I
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
- The 1,302 sq. km Kaziranga had an uptick in the number of waterfowl species from 112 counted a year ago to 126 during the fourth Wetland Bird Estimation.
- The bar-headed goose topped the list followed by the northern pintail and the common teal. Ferruginous duck, an important species with a count of 2,236, may be regarded as a highlight of this estimation.
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