BHOPAL: As many as 13 Barasinghas (swamp deer) have been shifted from the Kanha Tiger Reserve to the Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh recently as part of an ongoing process to conserve their numbers. The antlers happen to be MP’s state animal as well. The 13 Barasinghas, including 11 females and two males, were successfully shifted from the Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR) to Satpura Tiger Reserve (STR) in Hoshangabad district, following clearance from Centre and state government.
Earlier, 33 antlers were shifted to the STR from the KTR. With increasing numbers, some 25 antlers were released in the wild. With the addition of 13 more, the antler population in STR now stands at 36.Forest officials said the South African ‘Boma’ technique was used to first secure them from their enclosure in KTR-approximating Mandla and Balaghat districts, and then shifted to STR. “Boma” is a South African term for capture-enclosure. It consists of a wide funnel tapering into an animal selection-cum-loading chute. The boma is made of steel, with extended funnel wings extended with the help of a chain-link fence supported with grass mats to make it opaque for animals.
The antler is a highly endangered species. The hard ground Barasingha is one of three sub-species of the Indian swamp deer. While the distribution of the sub-species remains restricted to KTR, the northern and north-eastern sub-species occur in Dudhwa and Kaziranga National Parks and adjoining areas. Morphologically, each species differs slightly from the others, and geographical restrictions are responsible for these variations.
Slowly growing in numbers
Earlier, 33 antlers were shifted to the reserve. With increasing numbers, some 25 antlers were released in the wild. With the addition of 13 more, the antler population in STR now stands at 36