Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Barasingha

Rucervus duvaucelii
The Barasingha is a medium-large Deer that is found in the swamps, marshlands, and grasslands of southern Asia. In fact, they are sometimes referred to as "Swamp Deer."

On average, the Barasingha live in groups of around 10-20 deer, though during the breeding season these herds can become much larger. At that time the males will fight fiercely for the right to breed with large harems of females. Their large antlers that have as many as 20 tongs are instrumental in these fights.

Sadly, these Deer are now considered Vulnerable, and are no long found at in in large portions of their historical range. It is estimated that 3,000-4,000 remain in the wild. Poaching is a big factor in the decline, as is habitat loss. Not only do these eat the tall grasses that are being destroyed, but they also rely on those grasses to hide their young.

Interestingly, though these Deer are rare in their natural habitat, they are bred for stock hunting in some parts of the United States. Permits to hunt them on these private reserves can cost as much as $6,000. While this sounds really morbid, portions of those high fees in Texas are actually going to fund conservation back in India. In fact, the exotic hunting industry is one of the largest financial supporters of Barasingha Conservation on the planet!

IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Location : South Asia
Size : Height up to 53in (1.3m), Weight up to 600lbs (272kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Cervidae -- Genus : Rucervus -- Species : R. duvaucelii
Image : F. Spangenberg

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