Friday, June 12, 2009

Mouse Deer at Kanha

There were lot of speculation about mouse deer or Indian chevrotain at Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh Central India. The taxonomic classification is tragulus meminna....... family Tragulidae. Mouse deer is a ruminent and prefers forest habitat or grassy areas surrounded with rocky hillsides. Such habitat is wide spread in this tiger reserve, the discovery suggests a healthy or rather a well preserved habitat for niche dwelling species.

The deer was spotted and photographed at Kanha by a guest staying at a hotel in Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh. The news was published in local daily. Though I had heard from jeep drivers and guides about the presence of this animal but in face of concrete evidence and reliable identification it was difficult to establish the presence of this animal. But the recent findings are an eye opener. In spite of such large number of visitors and forest staff a species can go unnoticed or unidentified.

This could apply to other animals especially bird at Kanha since trained eyes roving in large number is a must for correct listing of life forms in our National parks and sanctuaries.

This speaks of how little we know of wildlife - flora and fauna - of our tiger heavens and so much is still to be done apart from saving the endangered tiger which rightly is the first priority.