What is the hangul?
The hangul, also known as the Kashmir stag (Cervus hanglussp.hanglu), is a critically endangered subspecies of red deer found only in the Indian subcontinent, primarily in Dachigam National Park.
Why is the hangul population not increasing?
Despite protection efforts, the hangul population has struggled due to factors like habitat fragmentation, poaching, livestock grazing, ecological threats, predation, disturbed corridors, landscapes, and low genetic variability.
What is the significance of the hangul?
The hangul is genetically unique and the only surviving subspecies of red deer in India. It plays a crucial ecological role as a grazer and is a vital food source for predators.
What actions are recommended for hangul conservation?
Recommendations include monitoring calf survival, removing feral dogs, reducing livestock presence to allow habitat recovery, and restocking the hangul in suitable habitats within its historical range.
Is there a possibility of the hangul going extinct?
Population viability analyses suggest that the hangul is on the brink of extinction and requires immediate conservation interventions to prevent this.
What makes Dachigam National Park special for hangul?
Dachigam National Park hosts the only viable population of the hangul in the Dachigam landscape and offers a protected habitat that is critical for the species’ survival.
What are the challenges in hangul conservation?
Challenges include ensuring the survival of calves, managing the sex ratio, tackling the issue of feral dogs, mitigating human-animal conflict, and enhancing the genetic variability of the population.
Can hangul be reintroduced to other areas?
Reintroduction to areas within its historical range, such as the Shikargah Conservation Reserve, is proposed to establish a second viable population, supported by a breeding center and a corridor connecting to Dachigam National Park.