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India Wildlife Tour » Indian Wildlife » Black Buck Antelope
Black Buck Antelope in India
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About Black Buck Antelope
Black Buck, common name for an antelope, mainly of India but with
other small populations in Pakistan and Nepal. The black buck has ringed horns that
have a moderate spiral twist of three to four turns and are up to 70 cm (28 in) long.
The name black buck has also been applied to the sable antelope of Africa. The adult
male stands about 80 cm (about 32 in) at the shoulder and weighs 32 to 43 kg (71 to
95 lb). The body's upper parts are black; the underparts and a ring around the eyes are
white. The light-brown female is usually hornless. Males are dark brown. Black bucks
frequent the open plains in herds. When the rut (mating season) reaches a peak, one
male establishes dominance.

Kala Hiran also called Indian Black Buck Antelope (Antelope cervicapra L.). It has
four sub species, they are:
» Antelope cervicapra cervicapra
» Antelope cervicapra rajputanae
» Antelope cervicapra centralis
» Antelope cervicapra rupicapra

It used to be found all over India except the northeast. Now it is seen in Panjab,
Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and central India. It does not live in dense forest but in
open plains. It is one of the fastest animals on earth and can out run any animal over
long distances. Open plains, which allows it to move fast, are therefore needed to
protect it from predators.

The males darken at maturity and the most dominant male in the herd has a black
coat. White highlights the eyes, ears, chin, under parts, and rump. Even fawns have
these markings. They are brown but turn tan after about a month. Grown males have
ringed horns spiraling in a V at least thirty-three centimeters above the head. Record
trophies exceed fifty centimeters. The black buck eats mainly grasses. Pods, fruits,
and flowers supplement this diet. Few black bucks live longer than twelve years, and
their maximum life span is about sixteen years.
Importance of Black Buck
Biological importance
As other animal it is also a part of Nature and we need to conserve it for future
generation. Black buck is one of 26 species of mammals, which have been declared
endangered and protected by low in Nepal .

Genetic importance
Cross breeding and development of high breed for domestic use.

Economic importance
Each species has value and meaning. In present context Biodiversity richness is
greater than monetary value.

Local importance
Tourist, researcher, animal lover may come to see this important animal and it will
help the diffusion of local culture or production to the external national
or international visitor.

National importance
Tourism development and decentralization of tourist flow.

Ecological importance
System within a system

Tourism and Eco-tourism

Cultural important in Hinduism and Buddhism: Black buck is a vehicle of Chandrama
(soma or chandra) (moon). This is a symbol of purity prosperity and peace. Its skin
use in the time of taking secret thread (bratabanda) as well as at the time of
worshipping. In Buddhism, a pair of buck symbolizes Buddha when he turned to the
Sarnath India. The horns and skin are also regarded as sacred object in Hinduism.

Threat for Black Buck in India

The main reason of population loss are:
• Poaching
• Predation
• Habitat destruction
• Overgrazing
• Diseases
• Inbreeding and
• Visitors

Constant persecution by man has sadly reduced their number. Their large herds, which
once freely roamed in the plains of North India where they thrive best, are no longer
visible. During the eighteenth, nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century,
black buck was the most hunted wild beast all over India. Till Independence, many
princely states used to hunt this Indian Antelope and gazelle with cheetahs. Within
Black Buck habitat people are leaving and domestic animals are free to graze this area
as well. In one hand there is very limited land for Black Buck and there is high
pressure of domestic animal as well as the people.

Home of the Indian Black Buck

Velavadar Black Buck Sanctuary
This is the home of the Indian black buck. Velavadar in the Bhal region of Saurashtra
is a unique grassland ecosystem that has attracted fame for the successful
conservation of the black buck - the fastest of the Indian antelopes, the wolf and the
lesser florican.

Once found in open plains throughout the country and the state of Gujarat, its largest
population at present occurs in Velvadar National Park. This exclusively Indian
animal is perhaps the most graceful and beautiful of its kind. It has ringed horns that
have a spiral twist of three to four turns and are upto 70 cm long. The body's upper
parts are black and the underparts and a ring around the eyes are white. The female,
light brown in colour is usually hornless.

The fastest of the Indian antelopes, they move off in a series of amazing leaps and
bounds when threatened and then break into a lightening run.

A word of praise would not be out of place for the Kathi community who like the
Bishnoi community have protected the black buck with vigour and zeal as it is
associated with their past history of valour and religious practices.

Black Buck Found in India

Bandhavgarh National Park
Set amidst the Vindhyan Mountain range in Madhya Pradesh, the Bandhavgarh
National Park is home to the famous White Tigers of Rewa. One of particular mention
captured in the Park in 1951, was the legendary White Tiger called Mohan, who
supposedly fathered several offspring found in zoos the world over
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