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Villagers take lessons in saving Kashmir’s rare deer


Srinagar : Alarmed by the dwindling numbers of the red deer sub-species known locally as the ‘Hangul’ found in the world only in Kashmir, the local agricultural university Sunday organised a two-day workshop to educate villagers.

A recent survey confirmed there were just 210 of these animals whose natural habitat was the Dachigam National Park, located 14 km from city centre Lal Chowk in Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar.

Different aspects of the survival of this rare species including its history, biology, ecology, monitoring, management, socio-economics, diseases, conservation and breeding were highlighted during the workshop.

Tej Pratap Singh, vice chancellor of the local agricultural university, laid emphasis on the increasing wildlife-human conflict in the Valley, need for habitat improvement and economic growth.

“The Hangul lalong with other wild species has become a victim due to an increase in human population leading to scarcity of land, water and other natural resources,” he said.

“The impact of human activities on physical environment has laid tremendous pressure on the natural resources. During the past many years there has been a domination of technology and demography which has resulted in hindrances for the welfare of the ecology,” he said.

For the first time, the recently-elected village headmen were invited to the workshop to educate them about the delicate ecology in the mountains.