Barasingha is a dear species with conspicuously large antlers. Overall, this mammal has as much as 12 antlers. In fact, the name of this species has Hindi origin and means '12-antlered deer'. Unfortunately, Barasingha is nowadays among the most vulnerable deer species not only in the Indian Peninsula, but also throughout the world. The remaining small population of this species inhabits protected sanctuaries of India.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a folivore is a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves. Mature leaves contain a high proportion of hard-to-digest cellulose, less ...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
Grazing is a method of feeding in which a herbivore feeds on plants such as grasses, or other multicellular organisms such as algae. In agriculture...
A cursorial organism is one that is adapted specifically to run. An animal can be considered cursorial if it has the ability to run fast (e.g. chee...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
A herd is a social grouping of certain animals of the same species, either wild or domestic. The form of collective animal behavior associated with...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The barasingha is a large deer with a shoulder height of 44 to 46 in (110 to 120 cm) and a head-to-body length of nearly 6 ft (180 cm). Its hair is rather woolly and yellowish brown above but paler below, with white spots along the spine. The throat, belly, inside of the thighs and beneath the tail is white. In summer, the coat becomes bright rufous-brown. The neck is maned. Females are paler than males. Young are spotted. Average antlers measure 30 in (76 cm) round the curve with a girth of 5 in (13 cm) at mid beam. A record antler measured 104.1 cm (41.0 in) round the curve. Stags weigh 170 to 280 kg (370 to 620 lb). Females are less heavy, weighing about 130 to 145 kg (287 to 320 lb). Large stags have weighed from 460 to 570 lb (210 to 260 kg)
Barasinghas presently occur in isolated populations across heavily fragmented range, which includes north and central India as well as south-western Nepal. There are 3 sub-species of Barasingha: Wetland Barasinghas, occurring in India and Nepal; Hard-ground Barasinghas, having only one population in Madhya Pardesh (India); and finally, Eastern Barasinghas, which form a single population in Assam, north-eastern India. Preferred habitat of this species is tall grassland as well as reed beds of large river floodplains. However, Barasinghas are often seen in wooded habitats such as dry deciduous forests and mangroves.
Barasinghas are highly social creatures, gathering into single-sex herds of 10 - 20 individuals. Additionally, all group members are usually the same age. However, they may occasionally be found in groups of mixed sex and age that are typically led by a single female, followed by other females of the herd, who form a line behind her, whereas males remain in the rear. Nevertheless, leading females are not dominant over members of the community. Barasinghas may be active at any time of the day, although they spend mornings and evenings grazing and prefer to rest during the afternoon. Males of this species are less loyal to their herds than females and frequently move between herds.
Barasinghas have a polygynous mating system, where the dominant male mates with a group of females known as a harem. Each male defends its mating rights, engaging in harsh competition and fights with other males. By the onset of the mating season, usual herds split. During this period, males begin creating wallows. They are often heard emitting bugling and barking sounds, resembling braying calls of mules. They breed between October and February, while most births occur in September-October. A single baby is born after 240 - 250 days of gestation, although females may occasionally produce twins. The fawn is weaned at 6 - 8 months old. Young females are able to produce offspring of their own at 2 years old.
Barasinghas have suffered from habitat destruction as a result of deforestation as well as draining of swamps and marshes for agricultural purposes. Currently, these animals attract hunters for their horns. On the other hand, they are threatened by diseases from, carried by the domestic cattle. The latter factor has already caused a considerable number of mortality among this species.
According to the IUCN Red List, the estimated total population of the Barasinghas lies between 3,500 and 5,100 animals. This includes 3,500-4,000 individuals of the Indian population of Wetland barasingha subspecies; 350-500 animals of the Eastern barasingha subspecies in Kaziranga National Park; and 300-350 animals of the Hard-ground barasingha in Kanha National Park. Overall, Barasinghas’ numbers are decreasing today, and the animals are currently classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List.
These herbivorous mammals control plant communities of their range by grazing. They are also consumed by local predators such as tigers and leopards.