GUWAHATI, Nov 29 – For the first time in the country, an exercise for mass translocation of the Eastern Swamp Deer, locally known as the Dal Harina, will be undertaken by the government of Assam to further boost its conservation efforts.
Around 25 Eastern Swamp Deer, a critically endangered schedule 1 species, will be translocated from Kaziranga National Park (KNP) to Manas National Park on December 9.
Unveiling this conservation plan for the Dal Harina on Thursday, Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain said that this initiative is being taken following a protocol prepared in an international workshop last year. “Apart from creating an additional home for the Eastern Swamp Deer, this effort will give an impetus to our efforts to revive Manas National Park,” said Hussain informing that a mock trial will be conducted on November 30.
Elaborating on the forthcoming translocation, Hussain mentioned that this will be a mass capture and officials of the state have already been trained in mass capture techniques in South Africa.
This unique conservation effort is supported by ONGC.
“We will be doing our best to save wildlife and in the case of the Eastern Swamp Deer, experts have already suggested an urgent recovery plan to counter the extinction threats,” said Hussain.
The Eastern Swamp Deer now left in a single population in KNP has become more susceptible to natural and biological threats, thereby necessitating immediate response.
On the other hand, as per expert advice, the translocated Eastern Swamp Deer will be released in an enclosure of about 13.6 hectare protected with electric fence and other barriers. Hussain revealed that the enclosure will be increased to 30 hectare by March next year. “Once the deer start breeding inside this enclosure in one or two years time, the enclosure shall be further expanded to 50 hectare,” Hussain said.