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Last updated on April 25, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

Barasingha

The Barasingha, Cervus duvaucelii, is a species of deer native to India and Nepal. It is also found in the United States in the state of Texas on hunting ranches where it was introduced a hundred years ago. In the Terai the deer lives on marshland and is rarely seen outside it. In Central India they live in grasslands in the proximity of forests. Today the species has disappeared entirely from the western part of its range.

A stag may stand 53 inches at the shoulder and weigh from 375 to 397 pounds. Antlers measure 29.5 inches round the curve with a girth of 5.1 inches at mid beam. The record antler measured nearly 41 inches round the curve. 10 to 14 tines are found on the antlers of a mature stag, though some have been known to have as many as 20 tines.

Barasingha feed in the mornings and in the evenings. The breeding season is from September to April and births occur after a gestation of 240-250 days in August to November. The peak is in September to October in parts of its range. They give birth to a single calf. In central India, the herds are mixed with females numbering twice as many as males. The herds were on average about 8-20 in size with large herds of up to 60. During the rut they form large herds of adults. When alarmed they give out a shrill baying alarm call.

Barasingha were brought to USA almost a 100 year back to be introduced in the wild on land which is managed for sport hunting. Hunters for whom bagging a stag with huge antlers with as many points as possible is a novelty, pay about $40000 as trophy fees for hunting a Barasingha, 10% of which is supposed to go back to India to preserve it and its habitat in its true home range where it is close to extinction. It is a USA Government policy now that 10% of trophy fees for hunting an exotic species found on Hunting Ranches in USA should be sent back for the preservation of that species and its original habitat in its true home range / country.

Barasingha