Kashmir stag (Cervus elaphus hanglu),
also called hangul, is a subspecies of Red Deer
native to northern Pakistan and India, especially
in Jammu and
Kashmir where it is the State Animal of
This deer has a light rump patch without including the tail. Its
color is brown with a speckling to the
hairs. The inner sides of the buttocks are grayish white, followed
by a line on the inner sides of the thighs and black on the upper
side of the tail. Each antler
five tines. The beam is strongly curved inward, while the brow and
bez tines are usually close together and above the burr.
Distribution and ecology
lives in groups of two to 18 individuals in dense riverine forests,
high valleys, and mountains of the Kashmir valley and northern Chamba in Himachal Pradesh.
In Kashmir, it's found in Dachigam National Park
of 3,035 meters.
Threats and conservation
These deer once numbered from about 5,000 animals in the beginning
of the 20th century. Unfortunately, they were threatened, due to
by domestic livestock
, and poaching
This dwindled to as low as 150 animals by 1970. However, the state of
Kashmir, along with the IUCN and the WWF prepared a project for the
protection of these animals.
It became known as Project
Hangul. This brought great results and the population increased to
over 340 by 1980.
Much of the earlier published material was by the distinguished E.
P. Gee, a member of the Bombay Natural History Society. Shortly
before the expedition was mounted, Fiona Guinness and Tim Clutton-Brock
, both noted deer
experts, had visited Kashmir and had gathered some useful field
data, which confirmed that Hangul numbers were at a dangerously low
Scientifically known as Cervus elaphus hanglu,
is the only surviving race of the Red Deer family
of Europe in the sub-continent. The animal is battling for its survival in
its last bastion: they are now scattered within 141 km² of the
Dachigam National Park
located on foothills of Zabarwan range on
the outskirts of Srinagar.
Known for its magnificent antlers with 11 to 16 points, hangul was
once distributed widely in the mountains of Kashmir. During 1940's,
their number was believed to be about 3,000-5,000. As per the
latest census in 2008, only around 160 exist. There are plans to
breed them in captivity to increase their chances of survival
- Captive breeding for Hangul
- Rare Kashmiri deer on verge of extinction, 12 May,
2008, REUTERS; The Economic Times, Times of India
- Endangered Hangul spotted in many parts of Kashmir,
5 May 2008, PTI, Times of India
- Wildlife institute wants larger area for Hangul
deer, April 09, 2008, Aditya V Singh, The Indian Express
- Deer Specialist Group 1996. Cervus elaphus ssp. hanglu. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 19 May 2008. IUCN Red List status of Endangered is outdated, Kashmir
Stag is a Critically Endangered as numbers have fallen to below 200
individuals as of 2008.