Current population status of the endangered Hog Deer Axis porcinus (Mammalia: Cetartiodactyla: Cervidae) in the Terai grasslands: a study following political unrest in Manas National Park, India ­

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Alolika Sinha
Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar
Syed Ainul Hussain


The Endangered Hog Deer Axis porcinus has experienced drastic population declines throughout its geographical range.  There is limited knowledge of its current population status, particularly from northeastern India.  In this study the population density of Hog Deer was assessed in Manas National Park, which was a deer stronghold prior to the armed conflict that lasted for almost two decades, resulting in depressed deer populations.  With the cessation of conflict, efforts were invested by both government and conservation organisations for the recovery and conservation of charismatic fauna in the park.  Studies on Hog Deer populations, however, were lacking and thus reliable information on current status is unavailable.  Current population status and threats faced by Hog Deer were assessed to aid informed conservation decisions.  Distance sampling techniques (line transects) were applied in the grassland habitat during the dry season of two consecutive years.  The estimated Hog Deer density was 18.22±3.32 km-2.  The potential threats to Hog Deer identified in Manas include habitat loss, habitat degradation due to spread of invasive plant species, illegal hunting, and other anthropogenic disturbances.  Our study suggests that the Hog Deer population, though reviving, needs immediate conservation attention.

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Author Biographies

Alolika Sinha, Aaranyak, 13, Tayab Ali Byelane, Bishnu Rabha Path, Guwahati, Assam 781028, India.

Alolika Sinha is working as a wildlife biologist in Aaranyak and affiliated to Wildlife Institute of India for her PhD. For her doctoral thesis she is studying ecology of hog deer. Her research interests lie in large herbivore population ecology and conservation biology.

Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, Aaranyak, 13, Tayab Ali Byelane, Bishnu Rabha Path, Guwahati, Assam 781028, India.

Dr. Bibhuti P. Lahkar is the head of Elephant Research and Conservation division of Aaranyak. He suprevises various projects, mostly in Manas landscape and has been working in the landscape for almost two decades. For his PhD he studied grassland ecosystem of Manas NP.

Syed Ainul Hussain, Wildlife Institute of India, Post Box 18, Chandrabani, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248001, India.

Dr. S.A. Hussain is Scientist G with Wildlife Institute of India and head the Landscape level planning and management department. He specializes in aquatic ecosystems and its fauna and small carnivore ecology among others.


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