By: Jahangeer Ganaie
Pulwama, Dec 09: The Hangul Breeding centre in Shikargah’s Tral is set to be made functional again and efforts are being made to habituate Hanguls naturally in the centre.
Officials told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that a hangul breeding centre was established in Shikargah Wildlife Sanctuary on which crores of rupees were spent in 2011. After its completion a hangul was housed in it but it became a victim of a leopard.
Locals said they never saw movement of Hangul in the area after that incident. However, the movement of deer has been witnessed in the area again for the last two years.
They however are concerned that the Hangul population may venture into orchards or residential areas.
A local Irshad Ahmad of Pinglish Tral said that the presence of Hangul at the breeding centre can attract visitors to the area.
An official said that all necessary work has been carried out so that Hangul can be kept in the centre without falling prey to wild animals.
“We have kept vegetables, salt and other things near the gate of the centre where our cameras have already captured movement of the Hangul. We are trying to habituate them naturally and will close the gates once they find Hanguls inside the sanctuary,” the official added.
“We will habituate them naturally without letting them know that they are occupied as breeding to the stressed animals is not possible,” he said.
Several Bollywood celebrities have visited the sanctuary in the past.
Poached for its meat, antlers and skin, the population of Hangul has been on the decline for the past many decades. From around 3,000, the figure dropped to 900 in 1989 which dwindled to near about 200 a few years ago but in the last few years have seen an upward trend in their number.
Conservation of Hangul assumes great significance as the species is placed under Schedule-I in the Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1978 (amended up to 2002) and the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. It is also listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna—(KNO)