Conservationists begin research on musk deer

January 10, 2019

Hariram Uprety, The Kathmandu Post, January 10, 2019

Conservationists have started their research on the endangered musk deer--valued for its scent glands for medicinal purpose--at Manaslu  Conservation Area Project (MCAP) in northern Gorkha.   

The MCAP and the Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, jointly carried out the research on the musk deer at Kaltal area in Chumnubri Rural Municipality-4 with an objective to find the number and situation of the animals along with their habitat. According to the conservationists, the first phase of the research was completed in December after the installation of trapping cameras.    

Narendra Lama, chief at the MCAP, said the research would be completed in two phases--the first phase was completed in December, 2018, while the second phase will be conducted in the summer of 2019.

 “We have installed 10 trapping cameras in Kaltal area,” said Lama. “We will complete the research within the next six months and make public the report.”

Kaltal area, which lies at an altitude of around 3,700 metres above sea level, is considered to be a major habitat of the musk deer. Bishnu Achhami, a conservationist, said they would estimate the number of the species on the basis of information gathered from the camera and faeces of the mammal.

“Musk deer have a habit of defecating at a same place. We can estimate their average number on the basis of their faeces,” said Achhami.  

Achhami said there are seven species of musk deer found in the world. Of them, three are found in Nepal.