Drastic decline in Hangul population is critical

FARZANA SYED. Dated: 10/8/2018 4:50:10 PM

SRINAGAR, Oct 7: Once present in thousands across the mountainous range of Kashmir, Hangul, Kashmiri stag or royal stag has almost neared its extinction as there has been a drastic decline in its population over the years.
According to the official data, the population of the only surviving breed of red deer was 5000 few decades back, however the same population has shockingly been reduced to 182, which depicts the magnitude of declination the Hangul population of Kashmir has witnessed.
According to a census conducted by the state wildlife department in 2017 only 182 Kashmir stag are currently existing in Dachigam national park while the fact is that this minimal figure too is fighting for its future survival.
Known for its antelopes, the population of only surviving breed of red deer has drastically gone down bringing it in the category of ' critically endangered ' species yet very little is being done for the conservation of Hangul which is facing a threat of getting completely endangered.
Although the successive governments have time and again expressed concern vis-a-vis the declining Hangul population, however a serious attitude was never adopted to save the species that is close to extinction.
A census conducted by the state wildlife department in 2015 had revealed that the population of Hangul, the only surviving o sub-species of the European red deer family, had reduced to 188. While in 2017 the number has further gone down to 182.
Even though the administration continues to claim of taking continued steps for Hangul conservation, which include breeding methods, the number has continued to plung while the repercussions are evident as Kashmiri stag has reached a stage of extinction.
The officials however expressed concern with the declining Hangul population.
"The population has neared only few from over 5000 that was the original population of the Hangul. One can make out how drastically the Hangul population has gone down," the wildlife official said.
The census of 2015 had raised many questions regarding the proposed conservation of Hangul however since then no concrete approach had been adopted to save the species which is at the brink of vanishing.
The authorities attribute the decline to several reasons which includes poaching and disturbance in the habitat Hangul.
At the same time the conservation efforts have yielded only minimal outcome.
"The conservation was initiated the methods included establishment of a breeding centre to breed Hangul in captivity. The breeding centre has been established at Shikargahb Tral in South Kashmir. This process has been initiated," a senior official at department of wildlife revealed.
"Moreover the protection methods are also to be implemented. These include demarcation of Dachigam national park to enhance the protection of Hangul," the official said.
The officials revealed that concrete steps needed to be taken towards the Hangul conservation or else the species would vanish.

 

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