The main attraction of Uttarakhand is its hilly greenery and wildlife. The state is very rich in bio-diversity. Therefore, Uttarakhand is considered a major centre of fauna and botany.
There are 6 national parks and 4 wildlife sanctuaries, which provide safe havens to a number of wild animals including the state animal of Uttarakhand.
State Animal Of Uttarakhand: The Alpine Musk Deer
The Alpine musk deer is the state animal of Uttarakhand. It is also known as Kasturi Mrig. The Alpine musk deer are counted among the beautiful creatures of the forest. The Kasturi deer is also known as ‘Himalayan Musk Deer‘. Its scientific name is ‘Moschus chrysogaster‘.
The Alpine musk deer is also known for the unmatched fragrance emanating from the navel, which is the biggest feature of this antelope. The navel of this deer contains a thick liquid (musk) from which a stream of Adorable fragrance flows. Musk sac is only found in male antelope.
Musk is a complex natural chemical, which has a unique aroma. It is used for the manufacture of medicines for diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, heart disease, typhoid, epilepsy, and bronchitis, besides aromatic ingredients.
Where is The State Animal Alpine Musk Deer Found?
Alpine Musk Deer is found between 3,600 to 4,400 meters altitude on forests of snow peaks. The antelope is on the verge of extinct due to poaching. It is found in the forests of Kedarnath, Valley of Flowers, Uttarkashi and Pithoragarh districts of the state at an altitude of 2,000 to 5000 meters.
There are 4 species of this antelope. Apart from Uttarakhand, this fauna is also found in other Himalayan regions such as Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Sikkim. Including Southern Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan.
Habitat Behavior Of The Kasturi Mirgh
The colour of the Musk Deer is brown on which dark yellow spots are found. It has four hoofs in one leg. The male deer tail is short and hairless. Their height is about 20 inches and weighs 10 to 20 kg. The average age of this antelope is 20 years.
This antelope never allows other antelope to enter in its area (Only female antelope is allowed). It does not leave its habitat even in cold weather. The memory power of this creature is very strong.
The state government also took some initiative to save Alpine Musk Deer and established the following centres.
Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary
In 1972, an area of 967.2 sq km Musk Deer Sanctuary was established by the state government under the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Chamoli. Apart from Alpine Musk Deer, you can see the leopard, sparrow, Himalayan rooster, Tahr and many species of birds here.
Ascot Wildlife Sanctuary
In 1986, Ascott / Askot sanctuary was established in Pithoragarh. The sanctuary has been reserved mainly for Musk Deer so that this rare species can be saved. Apart from this, the sanctuary is home to creatures like Bengal tiger, Indian Cheetah, Civet, Himalayan wild Cat, Barking deer, Himalayan bear. This entire sanctuary area is spread over an area of about 600 sq km
Kanchula Khark Musk Deer Sanctuary
In 1982, a Musk deer Breeding and Conservation Center was established at Kanchula Khark in the Chamoli district. It is spread over an area of 5 sq km, this sanctuary is reserved for Himalayan wildlife, where you can also see the beautiful musk deer. This wild area is also known for breeding the development of musk deer. So that they can increase their population.
Mahrudi Musk deer Research Center
In 1977, the Mahrudi Musk deer Research Center has been established.