The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is going to declare the Kashmiri Red Stag (which is also known as Hangul) as a critically endangered species. Once found in thousands in the mountains of Kashmir Valley, the population of the famed Kashmir red deer, has dwindled to less than 150, according to a senior wildlife scientist.
However, the critically endangered status that is given to the Kashmiri Red Stag will help it to get more protection and enhance the conservation efforts to increase its continuously declining population.
Kashmiri Red Stag
• The Kashmir Stag or Hangul is known to be a subspecies of elk native to India.
• Hangul has red—brownish coat bringing them to the fold of red deer. The colour, however, changes with season and age.
• The weight of male Hangul is between 150 to 250 kg., and weight of female is between 100 to 160 kg.
• Head to body length measures about 180 to 220 cm. Age of sexual maturity is 2 to 3 years for male and 1 to 3 years for female.
• However, earlier it was believed that it is a subspecies of red deer. But mitochondrial DNA genetic studies have revealed that it is part of the Asian clade of elk.
Jammu and Kashmir’s Minister of Forest, Environment and Ecology Bali Bhagat admitted that this was a situation that needed emergent attention. He continued that his ministry had woken up to this reality and was restarting necessary measures for conserving the state animal.
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