Alpine Gorkha suited for musk deer: Experts

A recent survey on the habitat of musk deer found in the northern region of Gorkha district has revealed a few pleasant facts about these endangered animals.

Conducted by a team deployed from Manaslu Conservation Area, the survey has found the natural diversity of the area perfectly suited for musk deer. In addition to this good news, the population of musk deer was found to have increased over the years.

The team had conducted the survey from June in 2013 till the end of August. Using electronic devices and visual expertise, the team search for the presence of musk deer in each nook and corner of northern Gorkha.

“It´s no surprise that musk deer are increasing rapidly in the Himalayan region of the district. The climatic conditions and rich bio-diversity of the area are perfectly suited for musk deer,” said one of the team members, Hira KC.

During the survey, the team recorded a total of 44 musk deer and they believe they are more out there. Eight of them were male, 16 were female and 4 were babies. The gender of 16 others is yet to be ascertained. Most of the deer were sighted at Chhaikampar, Prok, Samagaun and Lho VDCs. However, the deer were not found at Chumchet and Bihi VDCs.

According to KC, the deer count was done by examining their resting spots, fur samples, foot prints and the direction the footprints were headed. “The count of these deer has reached 44, which is a very impressive result. This clearly shows the development of the musk deer population here,” said KC.

Musk deer, which is gradually disappearing across the country, falls under one of six commonly found deer species in Nepal. “Besides making a count, our survey was focused on studying the climatic condition of the area and how the animals are adapting to it,” said chief of Manaslu Area Conservation Project, Ram Kumar Gurung. “The result was summed up as positive,” added Gurung.

Sightings of this deer were only possible after reaching above 3,000 meters. The maximum number of musk deer was found at Fhulchen, Kalung of Chhaikampar VDC, Kaltal of Prok VDC, Chyala of Lho VDC and Birendratal of Samagaun VDC.

source: republica, 22 Mar 2014

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