Pragmatic perspective on conservation genetics and demographic history of the last surviving population of Kashmir Red Deer (Cervus elaphus hanglu) in India
The hangul (Cervus elaphus hanglu) is of great conservation concern because it represents the easternmost and only hope for an Asiatic survivor of the red deer species in the Indian subcontinent. Despite the rigorous conservation efforts of the Department of Wildlife Protection in Jammu & Kashmir, the hangul population has experienced a severe decline in numbers and range contraction in the past few decades. The hangul population once abundant in the past has largely become confined to the Dachigam landscape, with a recent population estimate of 218 individuals. We investigated the genetic variability and demographic history of the hangul population and found that it has shown a relatively low diversity estimates when compared to other red deer populations of the world.