Mouse deer population up in city zoo

The number of Mouse Deers at its Breeding Centre has touched 50th mark in the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad. The Mouse Deer Breeding Centre at the zoo was started three years back with a stock of two male and four female mouse deer. To accommodate the rising population, the zoo has decided to take up expansion of the centre and add more facilities within a month. Photo: Nagara Gopal   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

The Nehru Zoological Park, which scored success with mouse deer breeding programme, is planning to release few of them in the wild while enhancing its efforts with the breeding of vultures. Three pairs of vultures were received recently by the zoo from Gujarat for the breeding programme.

Nehru Zoo started the conservation breeding centre towards 2010-end with five mouse deer and has the numbers swelling to 85 in the last four years. Given the success of the breeding programme and the numbers rising considerably, the authorities have decided to start releasing the mouse deer in the wild in batches.

“The breeding programme has gone extremely well and we have good numbers now. We are planning to release the first batch of 15 mouse deer in the wild in next couple of months,” said the zoo curator B.N.N. Murthy. The Tiger Reserve area of Amrabad has been identified for the release and work on establishing pre-release sites was being taken up.

According to Mr. Murthy, historic presence of the animal at a given location was crucial for release and site suitability and food availability have to be checked. “The exercise of narrowing down appropriate sites at Amrabad Tiger Reserve is on and once sites are ready, a batch of mouse deer will be sent there,” he said.

However, the Nehru Zoological Park’s vulture conservation programme has been comparatively slow in picking up and had only five vultures till three pairs were added from the Junagadh zoo of Gujarat recently. Though some more were being sought, the officials said with the number of white-backed vultures going up to 11, they would look at enhancing the programme.

The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) programme in association with Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) has been taken up for conservation of vultures which find place in the list of critically endangered. In Telangana State, vulture presence was identified in Adilabad and some nesting sites too were found in Amrabad Tiger Reserve, added Mr. Murthy.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 7:40:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/Mouse-deer-population-up-in-city-zoo/article10954581.ece

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