After successfully cloning buffalo, the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) is all set to embark on a project to clone endangered species, including pashmina goats that are found in Kashmir and are famous for fine quality wool.

“We hope to start the project to clone a pashmina goat in next two months,” NDRI Director A K Srivastava told PTI.

This will be the first project by the Karnal-based NDRI to clone animals, which are on the verge of extinction.

“We have already decided to start cloning projects for endangered species, but have not identified other animals,” Mr. Srivastava said.

The demand for pashmina wool, considered finest in the world, is very high and the production is very low in the country, he said.

Pashmina or changthangi goats are mainly found in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir and Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. The wool is combed out from young goats, though that does not threaten their lives.

“After we achieved success in cloning of buffalo, our scientists thought of undertaking the project that will help enhance production of this finest quality wool,” he noted.

The project will be undertaken in collaboration with Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences, J&K, he added.

Mr. Srivastava said, the NDRI will provide all the technical knowhow, such as the hand-guided cloning technique, and sufficient funds for the project, while the university will provide the infrastructure along with medical and veterinary support.

The NDRI had cloned three embryos last year in buffaloes. The first cloned calf was born in February this year, and it died within a week due to pneumonia, while the second one was got aborted.

On June 6, the third cloned buffalo, named Garima, was born at the NDRI campus.

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