Srinagar: Wildlife department is conducted Hangul census from March 23 to know the exact number of the critically endangered animal in the valley.
The department has decided to shut Dachigam National Park from March 22 to 30 to ensure smooth conduct of the census operation.
“The department of wildlife protection is going to conduct Hangul Population Estimation 2021 in and around Dachigam National Park from March 23 to 29. To ensure smooth conduct without any disturbance of the Hangul Population Estimation, Dachigam National Park shall remain closed from March 22 to March 30,” reads the communication from Wildlife Warden, Central Division, Srinagar.
Hangul, cervus elaphus hanglu, was the state animal of erstwhile united Jammu and Kashmir. Found in the forest ridges of the Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary, the majestic animal is known for its reddish coat and two antlers.
The last Hangul census was conducted in 2019. Official figures reveal that the Hangul population was 237 in 2019, an uptick from the 2017 census. In 2017, the Hangul population was 214. Earlier, Hangul count was 175, 218, and 186 in 2009, 2011, and 2015 respectively.
Hangul is a very shy and elusive animal that is very hard to spot in the woods. Scientists in 2017 achieved a rare feat when they fitted a satellite collar on the critically endangered `Hangul’ to understand their biology, behavior, and ecology in a bid to support the management interventions for the survival of the animal species.
Official figures reveal that 15,806.75 square kilometers of area in Jammu and Kashmir is under the Protected Area Network, which comprises five National Parks, 14 Wildlife Sanctuaries, and 37 Conservation Reserves.