Swamp deer successfully collard in Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, Nepal
Published On: 2015-07-03

After two failed attempts, INMS PhD student Hemanta Yadav (Supervisor Weihong Ji) and team successfully collard 12 swamp deer with VHF transmitters during the month of June, 2015. Out of 12 VHF collars, 10 collars were provided by National Trust for Nature Conservation, Nepal and 2 by Massey University.

Swamp deer or Barasingha, an endangered species endemic to Indian subcontinent, once widely distributed across North Indian Gangetic plain and its extension are now confined to only some small isolated pockets in Nepal and India. Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve holds the largest population (front photo) of its distribution range. Hemanta studies the population genetic status and behavioral ecology of this species. The purpose of collaring the animals is to investigate their habitat selection, movement patterns and social structure.

Collaring these animals was not an easy task. Two attempts with darting method in March-April and May, 2015 were both not successful. After worshiped the Goddess of forest "Ban Devi", the team tried again using a netting method which were often used by poachers to trap the deer. These worked and within a week, 14-17 june, 12 deer (3 males and 9 females) were captured and collared.

It is a big team effort. We thank the technicians of National Trust for Nature Conservation, Mr. Suman Malla, Mr. Deb Raj Joshi, Mr. Ganesh Rana, Mr. Amar Singh Thakur, and Shuklaphanta Widlife Reserve, Mr. Karna Bahadur, veterinary officer Bom and Elephant staff chief Ram Singh Sunah for their contribution to make this operation successful.