Welcome to Wild Kashmir

Wild Kashmir is an international programme to support the work of the Wildlife Conservation Fund (WCF) in Kashmir.  A main focus is to save the Kashmir Stag but the WCF is working to conserve all of Kashmir’s wildlife and wilderness.

The  Kashmir Stag (known in Kashmir as the Hangul) is critically endangered (status in 2017) with a population estimated by survey to be less than 200 individuals.  It is the State Animal of Jammu and Kashmir in India and is a magnificent red deer.

Based in Srinagar, Kashmir, the Wildlife Conservation Fund has been working hard to put in place measures for the conservation of the Hangul.  Many of the recommendations to save the Hangul were made more than 40 years ago but for several reasons many of these have not been implemented.  There is a sense that unless urgent action is taken, this beautiful animal may be lost.

Work has been underway to publish a new formal assessment of the status of the Hangul in the Red Data Book, which is produced by the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, a United Nations agency.  Please see the 16 September 2017 Hangul statement below.

WCF conservation projects (CP) include:

     Hangul CP - Cervus hanglu hanglu - Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List September 2017)

     Wetlands CP - Upland wetlands of Pampore

     Snow Leopard CP - Uncia uncia - endangered

     Western Tragopan CP - Tragopan melanocephalus - vulnerable

     Markhor CP - Capra falconeri

     Putitor Mahseer CP - Tor putitor

On 13 May 2017, the WCF launched the Save Khushalsar Campaign.  A resolution was adopted by the WCF to protect and conserve the Khushalsar and other associated water bodies including Gilsar and Anchar Lake. All stakeholders, including volunteers, non-government organizations and government authorities, are warmly invited to work together to contribute towards the conservation and protection of Khushalsar.

For more information on the Wildlife Conservation Fund in Kashmir, see www.wcf.org.in.

Statement on the Hangul, 16 September 2017

The Hangul (Kashmir Stag, Cervus hanglu hanglu) is officially classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.

The classification of Critically Endangered is the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN Red List for wild species and indicates that the species faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

This classification was initiated by the Deer Specialist Group within IUCN's Species Survival Commission (SSC) and is the result of a long and exhaustive process of investigation, assessment, scrutiny and review. It ensures that the Critically Endangered status of the Hangul is recognised and accepted internationally.

The time is now right to build on the existing excellent work of the Kashmir Government Conservation Staff and the Wildlife Conservation Fund to put in place the full range of measures required not only to ensure the survival of the Hangul but also to enable a flourishing and sustainable population of this magnificent deer for the future.

Dewar Donnithorne-Tait

International Director (UK), Wildlife Conservation Fund
Volunteer, Deer Specialist Group, SSC, IUCN

© Dewar Donnithorne-Tait 2019