The population of eastern swamp deer in Kaziranga National Park has been found to be stable despite two devastating floods this year.
The herbivore’s status follows a massive monitoring exercise on Wednesday by the Assam forest department with support from Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
“We counted 864 in a single day which is an encouraging figure, especially after a series of big floods in the park," said Kaziranga director NK Vasu.
“This was a monitoring exercise through which we tried to find its presence, and its area of occupancy. After the flood they get scattered. Once they consolidate before the start of the mating season in April we will conduct an official estimation.”
This is the third estimation within a span of two years. In April 2011 the park recorded 1,168 eastern swamp deer while the last estimation in January 2012 recorded a figure of 1,108 deer.
“Regular monitoring of population trend of eastern swamp deer in pre- and post-breeding season is very crucial to know the ecology of the species. The current exercise will be followed up with another in March-April next year. With this exercise we shall also know their dispersal areas after the big flood,” said senior WTI advisor Rathin Barman.
The estimation was conducted in Kaziranga’s Kohora, Bagori, Agaratoli and Burhapahar and North Bank ranges. The exercise entailed the involvement of 14 elephants.