A video showing a large herd of Kashmir Stag, known locally as Hangul, an endangered species, has given hope that the conservation efforts of Jammu and Kashmir government have started yielding positive results.
The video, uploaded on Twitter by a senior official of the Wildlife Department, shows around 50-strong Hangul herd on the snow-covered slopes of Dachigam national park in the Zabarwan mountain range.
“When I see a Hangul herd like this in Dachigam, future seems bright!” Raashid Naqash, Wildlife Warden, posted alongside the video.
The size of the herd is very significant as authorities hope that there will be at least several more herds like these in other parts of the national park, which are inaccessible to humans as of now due to snow.
The Hangul was widely found in the hilly and mountainous regions of Kashmir valley in early 20th century with their numbers estimated to be around 5000.
However, due to hunting and encroachment of their natural habitat, the number fell to just around 150 in 1970.
The Jammu and Kashmir government, along with the IUCN and WWF, started a conservation plan titled Project Hangul. The Hangul population has since increased, albeit slowly.
The last census held in 2019 revealed the number of the Kashmir Stag to have risen to 237.