Jammu: Government on Tuesday said it has submitted a recovery plan to save the endangered Hangul deer from extinction to the central government for approval and funding to the tune of Rs 25.72 crores over a period of five years. “The department has submitted a Hangul recovery plan to Government of India, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change for approval and funding involving financial implication to the tune of Rs 2572.80 lakh (25.72 crores) over a period of five years,” Forest Minister Lal Singh said in reply to a question of PDP member Vikramaditya Singh in Legislative Council.
He said that the plan provides under component ex-situ conservation, completion of construction and maintenance of conservation breeding centre as well other provisions like veterinarians, research fellows, collection plan training and Red Deer breeding expertise consultancy.
Hangul, also called the Kashmir stag, is the state animal of Jammu and Kashmir. The forest minister said that a long term Hangul Conservation Action Plan was prepared with the technical assistance from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. It has been approved and included in the list of species under the Species Recovery Programme being funded through the umbrella scheme ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’, he said. “The action plan was initiated in the year 2008-09. The implementation of the project will give an opportunity for the conservation of this unique species along with the rich biodiversity in the Dachigam national park and other habitats of the Hangul,” Singh said.
The minister said that the major concern highlighted in the action plan is the decline in the population of the species and significant decrease in female and fawn ration. “Such a low population is at a high risk of extinction due to confinement and inbreeding,” he said.
He said that the focus of the plan is the recovery of the declining Hangul population from existing endangered status. “Under this broad aim, the plan includes improving the recruitment in the adult population, restore the shrinking habitat range of species, the action plan aims at four major outcomes for the conservation of the species,” he said.
He said that the plan will focus to improve survival rate of the young fawns so as to ensure their recruitment into adult population, reduction of disturbance in the summer habitat range of the species so that the animals can use wider range of habitat, particularly during breeding season.
It also includes the identification and prioritisation of relic habitats based on their ecological status, and suitability and connectivity with the existing habitat of Dachigam national park.