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Biodiversity & Environment

Blackbuck Population Increased in Odisha

  • 28 May 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, a census carried out by the Odisha State Forest Department revealed that Odisha's blackbuck population has doubled in the last six years.

Key Points

  • About Blackbuck:
    • The Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), or the Indian Antelope, is a species of antelope native to India and Nepal.
      • It is widespread in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and other areas throughout peninsular India.
    • It is considered as the epitome of grassland.
    • It is considered to be the fastest animal in the world next to Cheetah.
    • The blackbuck is a diurnal antelope (active mainly during the day).
    • It has been declared as the State Animal of Punjab, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh.
    • Cultural Importance: It is a symbol of purity for Hinduism as its skin and horns are regarded as a sacred object. For Buddhism, it is a symbol of good luck.
  • Protection Status:
  • Threats:
    • Habitat Fragmentation, Deforestation, Natural Calamities, Illegal Hunting.
  • Related Protected Areas:
    • Velavadar Blackbuck Sanctuary - Gujarat
    • Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary - Tamil Nadu
    • In 2017, the Uttar Pradesh State Government approved the plan of setting up the Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in the trans-Yamuna belt near Prayagraj. It would be the first conservation reserve dedicated to the blackbuck.
  • Blackbuck in Odisha:
    • The blackbuck is known in Odisha as Krushnasara Mruga.
    • Blackbucks are confined to Balukhand-Konark coastal plain / wildlife sanctuary in Puri District; Balipadar-Bhetnoi and adjacent areas in Ganjam District.
    • As per the latest census, the antelopes numbered 7,358, compared to 2,194 in 2011.
    • Improvement of habitats, protection given by the local people and forest staff were some of the reasons for the increase of the population.
  • Other Antelopes Found in India:

Source: DTE

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