Kashmir musk deer
|Kashmir musk deer|
|Scientific classification |
The Kashmir musk deer (Moschus cupreus) is an endangered species of musk deer native to Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. This species was originally described as a subspecies to the alpine musk deer, but is now classified as a separate species. The deer stand at 60 cm (2.0 ft) tall, and only males have tusks and they use them during mating season to compete for females.
The Kashmir musk deer, which is one of seven similar species found throughout Asia, is endangered due to habitat loss and also because of poachers hunting the animal for its prized scent glands. It is listed as an endangered species in Pakistan.
In Afghanistan no musk deer sighting had been scientifically reported from 1948 until 2009. A survey conducted in June 2009 by WCS in the province of Nuristan, Afghanistan found at least three specimens, confirming that the species still persists in this country despite unregulated hunting, extensive deforestation, habitat degradation, and the absence of the rule of law. The survey also found that, in summer, musk deer inhabit remote alpine scrub on scattered rock outcrops and in upper fringes of closed coniferous forests at c. 3,000–3,500 m. They invariably use steep slopes (≥ 20°), which makes them difficult to approach. A data-driven geographical model predicted that suitable habitat for musk deer in Afghanistan extends over c. 1,300 km2 in the contiguous provinces of Nuristan (75.5%), Kunar (14.4%) and Laghman (10.1%). Although relatively vast, the area of habitat potentially available to musk deer in Afghanistan appears to be highly fragmented.
- Timmins, R.J. & Duckworth, J.W. (2008). "Moschus cupreus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1 (3.1). International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- "Elusive fanged deer spotted for 1st time in 66 years". Archived from the original on 2014-11-07.
- Ostrowski, Stephane; Haqiq Rahmani; Jan Mohammad Ali; Rita Ali; Peter Zahler (2014). "Musk deer Moschus cupreus persist in the eastern forests of Afghanistan". Oryx: 1–6. doi:10.1017/S0030605314000611. ISSN 0030-6053.