Hangul (Kashmir stag)

The Kashmir stag , also called hangul, is a subspecies of elk .The IUCN, however, includes it in the new grouping of Central Asian red deer (Cervus hanglu), with the Kashmir stag being the type subspecies (Cervus hanglu hanglu). It is the only sub-species of red deer in India.

Habitat

It is found in dense riverine forests in the high valleys and mountains of the Kashmir Valley and northern Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. In Kashmir, it’s found in the Dachigam National Park.The Kashmir  stag is the state animal of Jammu Kashmir

Dwindling population

In the 1940s, the population was between 3000 and 5000 individuals, but since then habitat destruction, over-grazing by domestic livestock and poaching have reduced population dramatically.

Conservation status

1. IUCN-Critically Endangered (CR)

2. Wildlife (Protection) act, 1972 -Schedule – I animal

Project Hangul

In the 1970s, the Jammu Kashmir Government with the support of IUCN and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) prepared a project for the protection of the hangul and the Kashmir stag habitat. This project for the conservation and protection of Kashmir stag came to be known as project hangul .