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Distribution and population status of Himalayan musk deer Moschus chrysogaster in the Machiara National Park, AJK


, : Distribution and population status of Himalayan musk deer Moschus chrysogaster in the Machiara National Park, AJK. Pakistan Journal of Zoology 40(3): 159-163

A study was conducted in November-December 2006 to determine the current distribution, population status and habitat utilization of Himalayan Musk Deer (Moschus chrysogaster) in the Machiara National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Line transect method was applied for estimating its population size using both the direct observation of the animal as well as indirect evidences from its signs. A total of 3 1 Musk deer were sighted from 19 sites, comprising six in sub-alpine scrub forest and 25 in Himalayan moist temperate forest. Total population of Musk deer was estimated at 64 individuals in the park which showed an increase over the previous population of 35 animals estimated in 2004. The increase in Musk deer population could be attributed to the initiatives taken under Protected Areas Management Project. This project has involved local communities residing at the periphery of the park for the protection and management to conserve the biodiversity resources of the park, which had positive impact on the population of Musk deer. Study indicated that Musk deer undergo seasonal migration to lower elevations in the Himalayan moist temperate coniferous forest during the heavy snowfall in the park. Hence, sub-alpine scrub forest and Himalayan moist temperate forest, the two habitats used by Musk deer which need total protection.

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