Sat, Dec 3, 2016 | updated 03:47 AM IST

Rutting season for Kashmir stag begins at Dachigam National Park

Updated: Nov 11, 2016 07:38 IST

Dachigam (Srinagar) [India], Nov.11 (ANI): The rutting season of the Hangul is at its peak in the world famous Dachigam National Park of Kashmir.

In Kashmir, during the autumn season, different types of birds and animals start their breeding or rutting process and the Hangul is one of them.

Some weeks before the rutting season, the growing interaction between male and female Hanguls is distinctly visible.

Wild life department authorities are always monitoring the rutting season of Hangul very carefully to assess its population accurately.

The rutting season starts in October and ends mid-November. The arrival of the rutting or breeding season is heralded by the loud roar of a master stag as a challenge to any other stag over territorial rights and its harem of hinds.

These stags desert the hinds at the end of the rutting season and the fawns are born in late May or early June.

The Hangul Kashmir Stag is the only surviving sub-species in the Indian subcontinent of the Red Deer family in Europe.

This magnificent mammal could finally get some protection with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) all set to declare it a 'critically endangered' species.

Known for its giant antlers bearing 11 to 16 points, the Hangul has been hunted for centuries and its habitat has been destroyed, leading to its population plunging to a mere 150.

Even then, the IUCN, the biggest international body assessing threat levels to flora and fauna, has categorised it as that of 'Least Concern' by clubbing it with European and other 'red deer' species of the world.

Once found in high altitude regions of Northern India, the Kashmir Stag is now confined to only Dachigam National Park in Kashmir. It has been considered as one of rarest mammals in the subcontinent for the last six decades.

That's why tourists come from all over the world to visit the Dachigam National Park. (ANI)