Mainland Serow, vulnerable mammal species, sighted in Raimona National Park

The discovery of Mainland Serow in Raimona National Park is good news for biodiversity conservation aspects.
Mainland Serow, vulnerable mammal species, sighted in Raimona National Park

GUWAHATI: Assam forest officials and conservationists are ecstatic as the first photographic evidence of Mainland Serow – an elusive and vulnerable mammal species notified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – was recorded in the state’s newly-declared Raimona National Park.

The forest department and well-known biodiversity conservation organisation Aaranyak captured the animal using digital camera traps. The finding was published as a scientific paper in the Journal of Threatened Taxa.

“The discovery of Mainland Serow in Raimona National Park is good news for biodiversity conservation aspects, and we are thrilled by the finding. Our goal is to conserve this species and other wildlife extensively in the national park,” the Aranyak quoted Divisional Forest Officer Bhanu Sinha as saying. The population of Mainland Serow is widely distributed in the neighbouring Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary and Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan.

“We would extend our thanks to the national park authority for their collaborative efforts that led to the discovery of this beautiful species. Finding of this species is good news for the conservation world,” senior scientist with Aaranyak Dr M Firoz Ahmed said.

Dr Dipankar Lahkar, a senior conservationist with Aaranyak, said the animal was sighted at a lower elevation – 96 metres. “According to IUCN, it is found at an elevation of 200 to 300 metres. That way, it’s a new record. Also, the animal was sighted within a 1 km radius from the fringe villages,” Lahkar said.

He said the Mainland Serow is present across various habitats extending from the Himalayas in the Indian subcontinent to southern China, mainland southeastern Asia and Sumatra. “The species’ populations are fragmented, and rapidly declining due to poaching, habitat destruction, and habitat loss. The lack of reliable data on its abundance makes it difficult to implement effective conservation actions to ensure long-term survival,” Lahkar said

Found in Himalayas, southern China

Mainland Serow is present from the Himalayas in the Indian subcontinent to southern China, mainland southeastern Asia and Sumatra. “However, lack of data on it makes it difficult to implement conservation actions,” says Dr Dipankar Lahkar, a senior conservationist

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