The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is going to declare the Kashmiri Red Stag (also known as Hangul) as a Critically Endangered species.
The critically endangered status to the Kashmiri Red Stag will help it to get more protection and enhance the conservation efforts to increase its rapidly declining population.
About Kashmiri Red Stag or hangul:
Known for its giant antlers bearing 11 to 16 points, Hangul has been hunted over centuries and its habitat destroyed, leading to its population in the wild plunging to a mere 150.
Historically, the Hangul was distributed in the mountains of Himalaya, Kashmir, Chenab Valley and Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh.
However, there is only one viable population left today in the wild, which is largely confined to the Greater Dachigam Landscape (1,000 sq.km.), encompassing the Dachigam National Park (NP) and adjoining protected areas.
It is listed under Schedule-I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and J&K Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1978 and has also been listed among the top 15 species of high conservation priority by the Government of India.
About Critically endangered species:
Critically endangered species are those that are almost extinct in the wild. Their numbers have become so few that they may have trouble breeding to keep the entire species viable without help from conservationists. In other words, they cannot find mates to produce young, or they take such a long time to mature that they often die before they can reproduce. By capturing members of the wild population to raise them in captivity and breed them there for later release back into the wild, conservationists try to keep the species alive.
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