Kashmir stag

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Description:
The Kashmir stag (Cervus elaphus hanglu), also called hangul, is a subspecies of Red Deer native to northern Pakistan and India, especially in Jammu and Kashmir where it is the state animal.

Description

This deer has a light rump patch without including the tail. Its coat color is brown with a speckling to the hairs. The inner sides of the buttocks are grayish white, followed by a line on the inner sides of the thighs and black on the upper side of the tail. Each antler consists of five tines. The beam is strongly curved inward, while the brow and bez tines are usually close together and above the burr.

Distribution and ecology

This deer lives in groups of two to 18 individuals in dense riverine forests, high valleys, and mountains of the Kashmir valley and northern Chamba in Himachal Pradesh. In Kashmir, it's found in Dachigam National Park at elevations of 3,035 meters.

Threats and conservation

These deer once numbered from about 5,000 animals in the beginning of the 20th century. Unfortunately, they were threatened, due to habitat destruction, over-grazing by domestic livestock, and poaching. This dwindled to as low as 150 animals by 1970. However, the state of Jammu & Kashmir, along with the IUCN and the WWF prepared a project for the protection of these animals. It became known as Project Hangul. This brought great results and the population increased to over 340 by 1980.

Much of the earlier published material was by the distinguished E. P. Gee, a member of the...
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