Kanha Tiger Reserve

Barasingha breaks new ground

Print edition : March 17, 2017

A barasingha female and a fawn at the Kanha Tiger Reserve. The fawn has spots at birth and is often confused with a chital. Photo: Sanjay K. Shukla

The Barasingha population of three subspecies—the hard ground barasingha endemic to Kanha, the northern subspecies and the north-eastern subspecies—is faced with many challenges, resulting in a low growth rate. Photo: Sanjay K. Shukla

A full-grown stag with the characteristic 12-point antler configuration. Photo: Sudhir Mishra

Grassland and a waterbody, an ideal habitat for the graminivore, at Kanha. Photo: Sudhir Mishra

In the past, populations of this deer occurred across undivided Madhya Pradesh and in Maharashtra, Bihar, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Photo: Anant Zanjale

The northern subspecies in a swamp, its natural habitat, at the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh. Each subspecies differs slightly from the other morphologically. Photo: Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

A barasingha herd at the Kanha Tiger Reserve, which supports typical central Indian sal forests and grassy plains. Photo: Sudhir Mishra

A tigress watching a herd of barasingha in the distance. Photo: Sudhir Mishra

Jackals go for selective predation of newborns, upsetting the recruitment of the barasingha. Photo: Anant Zanjale

An alert herd, though its anti-predator reflexes are relatively slow. Photo: Suresh Deshmukh

Pythons can sometimes upset the number of fawns in protected areas. Photo: Anant Zanjale

The north-eastern barasingha in the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Photo: Kaziranga Tiger Reserve

Kanha is a combination of beauty and biodiversity. Photo: Abhishek Singh

The grass-eating hard ground barasingha gives conservationists a lot to cheer about following a slow but sure increase in its almost extinct population at the Kanha Tiger Reserve.

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