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Assam: Fall in eastern swamp deer count at Kaziranga National Park

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GUWAHATI: The number of vulnerable eastern swamp deer in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve has declined to 868 due to flood, according to a statement.

A two-day census of the animal from January 10 revealed that there has been a “slight decrease” in the number from 907 in 2018, it said.

The latest eastern swamp deer count in the national park was 868, which included 173 males, 557 females and 138 yearlings. “The slight decrease in the population was mainly due to two floods in 2019 and 2020,” the statement issued on Tuesday said.

The survey was carried out in the entire area of the world heritage site for the first time as the previous exercise was restricted to only a part of the sanctuary.

“Territory wise, 786 were recorded in the Eastern Assam, 62 in Biswanath and 20 in Nagaon wildlife divisions,” it said.

At least 29 enumerators and 112 forest personnel were involved in the exercise.

A survey of wetland birds was also conducted in the national park from December 21 to 27 last year.

“Altogether 66,776 birds of 126 species were counted. Of these birds, 42,205 were recorded in Kaziranga National Park area, 24,571 in Laokhowa and Burachapori wildlife sanctuaries,” the statement said.

Bar-headed goose topped the list at 16,552, followed by northern pintail at 9,493, common teal at 5,631 and ferruginous duck at 2,236, it added.

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