Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Spotted Chinkara (Gazella gazella bennetti) nearby the villeges of Balotra (in Barmer) Rajasthan

Chinkara (Gazella gazella bennetti) is listed in IWPA 1972 (Indian Wildlife Protection act) as schedule I (Part I) animal and as per the IUCN ver. 3.1 it is listed as Least Concern.

Chinkara is State animal of Rajasthan.
 It lives in grasslands and desert areas in India, Bangladesh and parts of Iran and Pakistan.  A small, gazelle of slender graceful build it stands at 65 centimetres and weighs about 23 kilograms. The sides of the face have dark chestnut stripes from the corner of the eye to the muzzle, bordered by white stripes. The horns of the male appear almost straight when seen from the front; in profile they take lightly S-shaped curve with 15 to 25 rings and average 25-30 centimetres. 
It has its own known appearance and looks like almost a deer. The quick classification of Chinkara is as below
Kingdom:            Animalia
Phylum :              Chordata
Class:                  Mammalia
Order:                 Artiodactyla
Family:                Bovidae
Subfamily:           Antilopinae
Genus:                Gazella
Species:              G. bennettii
Due to excessive hunting and degradation of natural habitat, the population of  Indian gazelle has declined to a great extent. The foraging grounds of Indian gazelle are wasteland and scrubland but presently these areas are being destroyed due to increase of  agricultural and other anthropogenic activities. As a result the Chinkara population is restricted to only those areas where they are protected religiously or by any other means. 

Since this animal is legally protected in the world level and poaching is totally banned, but enforcement of strict law is lacking in this part of country. Local forest department is not well equipped to combat with the poachers. More or less, the conservation and protection is totally dependent on the locals and this needs better understanding about the animal and its current status.

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