Published On: Fri, Jun 7th, 2013

Musk deer on the verge of extinction in Garhwal Himalaya

Chamoli (Uttrakhand): Even without spotting it, one can feel the presence of this beautiful and innocent looking musk deer. The sweet fragrance emitted by this diminutive animal is enough to suggest that a musk deer is in the vicinity. This particular gift of  nature has become the biggest enemy of this animal which is commonly known in Hindi as ‘kasturi mrig’. It is worth mentioning here that musk is widely used in ancient Chinese medicine and perfume industry.

Call it official apathy or indifferent attitude, slowly the deer started dying one after another and none were left, a local resident said

Call it official apathy or indifferent attitude, slowly the deer started dying one after another and none were left, a local resident said

Although the musk glands are present only in adult males, the hunters in search of musk glands indiscriminately snare even females and young ones. Once caught, they all are mercilessly killed. This is what had happened with the musk deer population of Kedarnath sanctuary. If locals are to be believed, not a single specimen is left in the area for a nature lover to relish.

Here in Kedarnath sanctuary, the World Wildlife Fund initiated a research project on musk deer in 1979 to arrest the dwindling population of this endangered species. The project envisaged to study the ecology and behavior of musk deer in its natural habitat. Subsequently in 1981, on the basis of the study, a musk deer breeding farm was established with much fanfare at Kachula Khark near Gopeshwar.

At the breeding farm, the fawns of musk deer caught from wild were reared. Much to the encouragement of wildlife enthusiasts soon a healthy breeding population of musk deer was established at this farm. “Call it official apathy or indifferent attitude, slowly the deer started dying one after another and none were left,” said Bhuwan a local resident. Today, the enclosure remain in shambles exhibiting crass neglect of the officials, added Bhuwan.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>