LaCONES to create genetic pool of animal species:Endangered Hangul to get a new lease of life
10: Critically endangered Hangul is set
to get a new lease of life as Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to
collaborate with Hyderabad based research organization for creating a genetic
profile of Himalayan stag in a bid to conserve the animal for posterity.
Hangul is the
only survivor of the red deer group in the Indian sub-continent. Its population
has been on a decline over the years.
Waking up to fast
declining numbers, the government had come up with several initiatives in the
past to revive the endangered species of Himalayan deer. This included setting
up Hangul breeding centers in central and south Kashmir. However, it failed to
yield any concrete results.
To strengthen the
functioning of established breeding centers, the administration has now decided
to collaborate with Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species
(LaCONES), a Hyderabad based organization, for the conservation of endangered
species by creating genetic profile of Hangul to identify the superior members.
An official of
the wildlife department said the breeding of superior deer species will help in
enhancing the immunity of the off-spring. “Consequently, they will have an
improved survival rate even in the harsh conditions. “The Hyderabad based
organization is most effective as they have superior man power and are
well-funded. This will ensure that the work is not halted for the lack of funds
or expertise,” he said.
official said, will also be studying issues that led to the decline of Kashmir
stag and suggest ways for habitat improvement.
“We need six females and two males to begin
with. Second, it should be done either in spring or autumn. Also, the age of
the breeding stock is very important. The wrong age will turn counterproductive
for the entire process,” the official said.
A recent survey
has revealed alarming decrease in the animal’s population structure, with
lowest ever male-female and fawn-female ratios. “There were 15.5 males per 100
females and 7.5 fawns per 100 females,” the census reveals.
Central Kashmir, Altaf Hussain said talks with the research organization are in
“Plans are afoot
to collaborate with the organization. The organization has got good
infrastructure and quality human research is ensured. This aims to serve as a
greater cause. The conservation efforts are in full swing. Recently officials
of Wildlife Department attended a three-day conference held at IMPA, Srinagar
organized by a Hyderabad based firm. It focused how the breeding process of
Hangul can be done on scientific lines,” he said.
Shopian, Intisar Suhail said they are presently running progammes with SKUAST
and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, to ensure their capturing as well as
breeding. “Hopefully, we will get the stock by next year,” he said.