Odisha’s “blackbucks” double in 6 years, reveals census

What is the News?

According to a census carried out by the Odisha State Forest Department, Odisha’s blackbuck population has doubled in the last six years.

Blackbucks in Odisha:
  • Firstly, the Blackbuck is known in Odisha as Krushnasara Mruga.
  • Secondly, Blackbucks are found only in the Ganjam district in the southern part of Odisha. It used to be sighted in the Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary till 2012-13. But now has vanished from the area.
  • Thirdly, according to Census 2021, Blackbuck is numbered around 7,358 in Odisha in 2021. This means that the blackbuck population in Odisha has doubled in the last six years(3,806 in 2015).
  • Reasons for the increase in population:
    • Improvement of habitats,
    • The protection given by the local people and forest staff.
About Blackbucks:


Source: Deccan Herald

  • The blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is also known as the Indian antelope. It is an antelope native to India and Nepal.
  • Habitat: It inhabits grassy plains and lightly forested areas with perennial water sources.
  • Features:
    • Males weigh heavier than Female Blackbucks. Males have long, ringed horns. Females may also develop horns.
    • The blackbuck is a diurnal antelope (active mainly during the day).
    • Blackbuck is considered to be the fastest animal in the world next to Cheetah.
    • The blackbuck is a herbivore and grazes on low grasses as well.
  • State Animal: Blackbuck has been declared as the State Animal of Punjab, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Protection Status:
    • IUCN Status: Least Concern
    • Wildlife Protection Act 1972: Schedule I
    • CITES: Appendix III
  • Religious Significance:
    • The blackbuck is routinely depicted in miniature paintings of the Mughal era (16th to 19th centuries) depicting royal hunts often using cheetahs.
    • Blackbuck is mentioned in Sanskrit texts such as Krishna Mrig. According to Hindu mythology, the blackbuck draws the chariot of Lord Krishna.
    • Villagers in India and Nepal generally do not harm the blackbuck. Tribes such as the Bishnois revere and care for most animals including the blackbuck.
  • Protected Areas:
    • Gujarat: Velavadar Wildlife Sanctuary, Gir Forest National Park
    • Bihar: Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary
    • Maharashtra: Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary
    • Madhya Pradesh: Kanha National Park
    • Among others.

Source: Down To Earth

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