Saturday, August 14, 2010

Black Buck Antelope in India

About Black Buck Antelope
Black Buck, common name for an antelope, mainly of India but with other small populations in Pakistan and Nepal. The black buck has ringed horns that have a moderate spiral twist of three to four turns and are up to 70 cm (28 in) long. The name black buck has also been applied to the sable antelope of Africa. The adult male stands about 80 cm (about 32 in) at the shoulder and weighs 32 to 43 kg (71 to 95 lb). The body's upper parts are black; the underparts and a ring around the eyes are white. The light-brown female is usually hornless. Males are dark brown. Black bucks frequent the open plains in herds. When the rut (mating season) reaches a peak, one male establishes dominance.Black Buck

Kala Hiran also called Indian Black Buck Antelope (Antelope cervicapra L.). It has four sub species, they are:
» Antelope cervicapra cervicapra
» Antelope cervicapra rajputanae
» Antelope cervicapra centralis
» Antelope cervicapra rupicapra

It used to be found all over India except the northeast. Now it is seen in Panjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and central India. It does not live in dense forest but in open plains. It is one of the fastest animals on earth and can out run any animal over long distances. Open plains, which allows it to move fast, are therefore needed to protect it from predators.

The males darken at maturity and the most dominant male in the herd has a black coat. White highlights the eyes, ears, chin, under parts, and rump. Even fawns have these markings. They are brown but turn tan after about a month. Grown males have ringed horns spiraling in a V at least thirty-three centimeters above the head. Record trophies exceed fifty centimeters. The black buck eats mainly grasses. Pods, fruits, and flowers supplement this diet. Few black bucks live longer than twelve years, and their maximum life span is about sixteen years.

Importance of Black Buck
Biological importance
As other animal it is also a part of Nature and we need to conserve it for future generation. Black buck is one of 26 species of mammals, which have been declared endangered and protected by low in Nepal .

Genetic importance
Cross breeding and development of high breed for domestic use.

Economic importance
Each species has value and meaning. In present context Biodiversity richness is greater than monetary value.

Local importance
Tourist, researcher, animal lover may come to see this important animal and it will help the diffusion of local culture or production to the external national or international visitor.

National importance
Tourism development and decentralization of tourist flow.

Ecological importance
System within a system
Black Buck

Tourism and Eco-tourism
Cultural important in Hinduism and Buddhism: Black buck is a vehicle of Chandrama (soma or chandra) (moon). This is a symbol of purity prosperity and peace. Its skin use in the time of taking secret thread (bratabanda) as well as at the time of worshipping. In Buddhism, a pair of buck symbolizes Buddha when he turned to the Sarnath India. The horns and skin are also regarded as sacred object in Hinduism.

Threat for Black Buck in India
The main reason of population loss are:
• Poaching
• Predation
• Habitat destruction
• Overgrazing
• Diseases
• Inbreeding and
• Visitors

Constant persecution by man has sadly reduced their number. Their large herds, which once freely roamed in the plains of North India where they thrive best, are no longer visible. During the eighteenth, nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century, black buck was the most hunted wild beast all over India. Till Independence, many princely states used to hunt this Indian Antelope and gazelle with cheetahs. Within Black Buck habitat people are leaving and domestic animals are free to graze this area as well. In one hand there is very limited land for Black Buck and there is high pressure of domestic animal as well as the people.

Home of the Indian Black Buck
Velavadar Black Buck Sanctuary
This is the home of the Indian black buck. Velavadar in the Bhal region of Saurashtra is a unique grassland ecosystem that has attracted fame for the successful conservation of the black buck - the fastest of the Indian antelopes, the wolf and the lesser florican.

Once found in open plains throughout the country and the state of Gujarat, its largest population at present occurs in Velvadar National Park. This exclusively Indian animal is perhaps the most graceful and beautiful of its kind. It has ringed horns that have a spiral twist of three to four turns and are upto 70 cm long. The body's upper parts are black and the underparts and a ring around the eyes are white. The female, light brown in colour is usually hornless.

The fastest of the Indian antelopes, they move off in a series of amazing leaps and bounds when threatened and then break into a lightening run.

A word of praise would not be out of place for the Kathi community who like the Bishnoi community have protected the black buck with vigour and zeal as it is associated with their past history of valour and religious practices.

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