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Hog Deer: Overview and Distribution

Context:

In a significant discovery, the hog deer has been spotted for the first time at the Rajaji Tiger Reserve.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Hog Deer: Overview and Distribution
  2. Rajaji Tiger Reserve: Key Features

Hog Deer: Overview and Distribution

Behavior and Social Structure

  • Typically a solitary creature, occasionally seen in small groups during abundant food conditions.
  • Primarily sedentary, displaying minimal migration patterns.
  • Males exhibit territorial behavior, marking their area with glandular secretions.
  • Sexual dimorphism is evident, with females being slightly smaller and lacking antlers.

Geographic Range

  • Native to India, including the Himalayan foothill zone and Southeast Asia (Burma and Thailand).
  • Introduced by humans to Sri Lanka, Australia, and the United States (Texas, Florida, Hawaii).

Habitat Preferences

  • Generally found in dense forests but observed in clearings, grasslands, and wet grasslands.
  • Habitat choice influenced by seasonal variations and food distribution.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN: Endangered
  • Wildlife Protection Act 1972: Scheduled I

Rajaji Tiger Reserve: Key Features

Geographical Spread

  • Encompasses three districts in Uttarakhand: Haridwar, Dehradun, and Pauri Garhwal.
  • Situated along the Shiwalik ranges’ hills and foothills.

Historical Background

  • Formed in 1983 by merging Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary with Motichur and Chilla wildlife sanctuaries.
  • Named after the renowned freedom fighter Rajgopalachari, also known as “Rajaji.”

Ecological Significance

  • Located in a transition zone between temperate western Himalaya and central Himalaya, fostering species diversity.
  • Diverse forest types, ranging from semi-evergreen to deciduous, classified as Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest.

Flora

  • Rich vegetation includes Rohini, Palash, Shisham, Sal, Sandan, Khair, Arjun, Baans, Semul, Chamaror, and more.

Fauna

  • Home to diverse wildlife, including Tigers, Asian Elephants, Leopards, Jungle Cats, Himalayan Black Bears, among others.

-Source: The Hindu


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