IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Eastern swamp deer                                                                         

21st January, 2022 Environment

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Context: The population of the vulnerable eastern swamp deer, extinct elsewhere in South Asia, has dipped in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.


Recent findings:

  • During the Eastern Swamp Deer Estimation a decrease from 907 individuals in 2018 to 868 in 2019 and 2020 are found.
  • Earlier eastern swamp deer was endemic to Kaziranga but now has moved to other areas such as Orang National Park and Laokhowa-Burachapori wildlife sanctuaries.


About Swamp Deer:

  • The barasingha, also called swamp deer, is a deer species distributed in the Indian subcontinent.
  • It differs from all other Indian deer species in that the antlers carry more than three tines.
  • Threats: Poaching for antlers and meat, habitat loss.
  • Barasingha is the state animal of the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.


Three subspecies of swamp deer are:

  • Western swamp deer is adapted to the flooded tall grassland habitat in the Indo-Gangetic plain and are found in the Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve of Nepal.
  • Southern swamp deer has hard hooves and is adapted to hard ground in open sal forest with a grass understorey survives only in the Kanha National Park. It was reintroduced into Satpura Tiger Reserve.
  • Eastern swamp deer is only found in Assam i.e. it is endemic to Assam.


Protection Status:

  • It is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red list.
  • It is listed on CITES Appendix I.
  • In India, it is included under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.


About KNP:


  • It is located in
  • Kaziranga National park’s is home to more than 2200 Indian one-horned rhinoceros, approximately 2/3rd of their total world population.
  • It is located in the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots – Golaghat and Nagaon district.
  • In 1985, it was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
  • It was declared as Tiger Reserve in 2006.
  • It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the conservation of avifaunal species.


Laokhowa-Burachapori wildlife sanctuaries

  • It is a protected area located in the state of Assam, on the south bank of the Brahmaputra River.
  • This reserved forest became a sanctuary in 1995.
  • It forms an integral part of the Laokhowa-Burachapori eco-system and is a notified buffer of the Kaziranga Tiger reserve.
  • It is considered to be an ideal habitat for the Bengal florican.


Other protected Areas of Assam: