WII to host global deer conservation meet in Srinagar next month

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Srinagar, Sep 16 (ANI): The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is hosting a five day global meeting of the deer experts here-from October 9 to discuss conservation plans for the Hangul, which is also known as Kashmir Stag.

The meeting is also expected to chalk out a long-term effective management plan for the conservation of Hangul habitat.

Hangul is one of the endangered species of the world and has been listed in the Red Data Book of International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

According to WII Director P.R. Sharma the experts would share their knowledge in the management and conservation of endangered deer species in general and Red deer and its subspecies such as Hangul in particular in the meeting.

Conservationists from Russia, East Tibet, Middle East, Afghanistan and China will deliberate on issues threatening the existence of the species and formulate strategies, take effective relocation and recovery plan at the meet.

The conference would help the Indian conservationists to enhance and updating scientific knowledge on globally successful species recovery, conservation programmes and aspects of deer ecology, Sinha said.

That the meet is being held in Srinagar itself mirrors the government's concern to urgently save the Hangul, one of the four easternmost subspecies of Red deer that is endemic to Kashmir mountains in Jammu and Kashmir.

The population the Hangul, which is one of the four easternmost subspecies of Red deer, has declined from an estimated 2000 individuals in 1947 to about 170-200 individuals in recent years, due to poaching, excessive grazing of livestock, forest fires.

Deer are important part of woodland ecosystems and their effects are vital to the survival of plants and animals that depend on open woodlands. Their low numbers and restricted range is of great ecological concern amongst the conservationists throughout the world. (ANI)

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