Mouse deer released into the wild in Amrabad Tiger Reserve at Atchampet in Mahbubnagar district.
Hyderabad: Officials of the Telangana Forest Department on Tuesday relocated mouse deer bred at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad to enclosures at the Amrabad Tiger Reserve, near Mannanur, in Mahbubnagar district. The release of the mouse deer from captivity to semi-wild conditions has been on the cards for nearly six years, but the plans were realised for the first time on Tuesday.
The mouse deer is an endangered species whose population is declining due to poaching and the destruction of habitat. Officials of the Nehru Zoological Park, with help from the scientists of the CCMB Laboratory for Conservation of Endan-gered Species (LaConES) and the Central Zoo Authority, Delhi, have been carrying out a breeding programme for the conservation of mouse-deer and over the past six years. They have successfully raised the total population of mouse deer to 172, which includes 76 females.
M.C. Pargaien, the field director of the Amrabad Tiger Reserve, says that the Reserve, which is part of the erstwhile Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve, used to have a substantial population of mouse-deer, which began to dwindle over the years. Once the deers are completed weaned-off externally-supplied food, and if cleared by the field biologists, they will be released from their enclosure into the wild.
The authorities have created a protected enclosure spanning 2.14 hectares of land in the Mannanur Range of the Reserve. The release of mouse-deer into this enclosure is expected to improve biodiversity.
Once the deer are completed weaned-off externally-supplied food, and if cleared by the field biologists, they will be released from their enclosure into the wild.
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