Spotted Deer is endangered in sundarban

Spotted Deer at Sundarban, Bangladesh. Photo: Touhid Parvez Biplob, wildlife photographer.

Whether it is called spotted deer, chitra deer or chital deer, this species has got such beauty and charm that is undeniable. Its unique complexion has given it outstanding among all the other species of reindeer, sambar, swamp deer and barking deer in Indian sub-continent. This species can adapt itself to any kind of forestland. But the zoologists have marked it as an endangered species in wild of Bangladesh.

Research says, spotted deer were seen frequently in Chittagong, Hilly-tracks of Chittagong, forest of Dinajpur, Madhupur Ghar of Tangail and Mymensingh. But now it has come to a level of extinction in those areas. Now Sundarban is only the main habitat of this deer species. Hunting, Poaching, trafficking and deforestation are equally blamed for rapid reduction of the deer.

Zoologist & former chairman, zoology department of Chittagong University Ghazi Asmat stated his concern on existence of this spotted deer in the wild. There is a possibility of extinction of this species if any natural disaster occurs in the tropical area of Sundarbans.

Mentioning wildlife act of 1974 and 2012, he added, “only making new legal acts is not enough to protect the wildlife. Proper implementation and public awareness play the vital roles in protecting the wildlife.”

Wildlife Crime Control Unit-WCCU is working for preventing relocation and trafficking of deer and preserving this species.  Director of WCCU Jahir Uddin Akon said, “there wasn’t much complains in previous years. To expedite preservation of wildlife, two steps have been taken by the organization.”

“Firstly, both offline and online promotion is going on to raise awareness among people. Secondly, 999 a hotline number added, so that any difficulties related to wildlife conservation can be solved quickly. In recent times, there have been more than 300 phone calls everyday from all over the country.” added Jahir Uddin Akon.

But zoologist Ghazi Asmat criticized Bangladesh Forest Department to releasing the rescued wildlife only in the safari parks. “Those animals have right to live in the wildlife,” said Ghazi Azmat. he also emphasized to release wildlife in forest.

In Bangladesh conservation awareness is rising gradually. Wildlife researchers stated that, social media helping for boosting awareness process. They said, it’s easier to stop extinction of species with mass people’s connectivity.

Spotted Deer:

Bengali name “Citra or Chitral” which means spotted. It’s a medium-sized deer species, Cervus axis standing about 70-95 cm high at the shoulder. Locally this species is known as Chitra or Chital because of its rufous brown coat adorned with white spots that persist throughout life.

A dark stripe runs down the back from the nape to the tip of the tail. The abdomen, rump, throat and the insides of the legs, tail and ears are white. A black band circles the muzzle. The adult weighs about 85 kg. The adult carries three-tined antlers, and the species is perhaps the most beautiful of the deer family. It occurs in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and has also been introduced to Australia.

Chital Deer mainly lives on grass and small plants. Sometimes, it eats the leftover leaves or barks left by monkeys and entellus. It even eats its fallen antlers too. It is a sociable animal if it becomes familiar to human. It even eats cabbage, beans offered by human.