Hangul or Kashmir Stag
Scientifc name: Cervus elaphus hanglu
The hangul or Kashmir stag is the last Asiatic survivor of the red deer subspecies and is found in the lush green forests of Dachigam National Park in Kashmir. The male deer have impressive antlers. The colour of hangul’s coat is brownish red, which is why it is also called red deer. This colour can vary with the season and the age of the hangul: in an older hangul, the coat is dark brown. Male hangul stags have long hair along their necks while females do not. The fawns have spots over the body.
The hanguls are usually seen in family groups. After shedding their antlers between March and April, most stags migrate uphill and congregate near the snow line in the Dachigam National Park. Around the end of September, when the stag’s new antlers have hardened, they commence to roar and challenge. By the beginning of October, the stags join the herd of female deer for mating. During their annual period of sexual activity they fight other stags for access to the females. The fawns are born the following May.
In the recent past, the areas of Dachigam National Park have been encroached on by livestock, nomads, and graziers.
The hangul is endangered and protected under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.