Researchers at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, have found hog deer species at Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP) in Manipur, which is in the list of Threatened Species of IUCN, according to WWI. Although larger compared to the rest of their species in India, they were assumed to be the western hog deer species. However, a genetic intervention revealed that the KLNP population of hog deer is the eastern hog deer species, earlier believed to be confined to Southeast Asia.
‘The large bodies and antler size of the hog deer at KLNP always confused us but no one could explain the reason. It was only after we conducted a genetic sampling of the population that we realized that the KLNP hog deer population is the endangered sub-species of hog deer,’ said Pradeep Kumar Gupta, one of the researchers at WII, Dehradun.
It was published in the journal, Scientific Reports, that the study was conducted by a group of researchers from WII, Dehradun, between 2010 and 2018. The researchers collected hog deer samples from Keibul Lamjao National Park to access the genetic diversity of the KLNP deer population.
Meanwhile, according to a population density by the forest department at the KLNP, the population of hog deer in 2018 was 288. The WII researchers plan to extend the scope of their study to include the genetic analysis of the hog deer population of Tripura, and other areas bordering Bangladesh.