Habitat Use of Swamp Deer (Rucervus duvaucelii duvaucelii) in Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India

Rachna Tewari, Gopal Singh Rawat


We studied the seasonal variation in the habitat use pattern of swamp deer (Rucervus duvaucelii duvaucelii) at Jhilmil Jheel (Uttarakhand, India). Swamp deer is categorized as vulnerable on the IUCN Red list. A small population of swamp deer (320 in number) was recently rediscovered in Uttarakhand state (in 2005) at Jhilmil Jheel. This population warranted a conservation initiative because the habitat around this study area is heavily fragmented due to expansion of agriculture, habitation and various other land use practices. The animals were observed from vantage points to record data on habitat utilization. In addition, relative abundance of swamp deer pellets was quantified in various areas to get an idea of relative use of habitat. The study reveals that swamp deer in Jhilmil Jheel prefer areas high in hydrophytes such as Typha which meet various cover requirements viz. food, hiding, fawning, rutting, basking, resting etc. Dense thickets of Phragmites karka were avoided during all seasons. In summers, sedge meadows are preferred for feeding, resting, wallowing, and drinking water.


Cover; Directs Sightings; Habitat Selection; Pellet Groups; Typha sp.; Vegetation Types


Anonymous, 2005. Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve, Forest Department, Government of Uttaranchal, Dehradun..

Banerjee, G. 2001. Habitat Use by the Great Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros Unicornis) and Other Sympatric Large Herbivores in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India. M.Sc. dissertation, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. 82 pages.

Ben-Shahar, R. 1990. Resource availability and habitat preferences of three African ungulates. Biological Conservation 54: 357-65.

Bhatta, B. 2004. Daily Activities, Distribution, and Food Preference of Swamp Deer (Cervus duvauceli duvauceli). B.Sc thesis. Tribhuvan University, Nepal. 46 pages.

Buckland, S.T., Anderson, D.R., Burnham, K.P. and Laake, J.L. 1993. Distance Sampling: Estimating Abundance of Biological Populations. Chapman and Hall, London. 446 pages.

Duckworth, J.W., Kumar, N. S., Pokharel, C.P., Baral, H. S. and Timmins, R.J. 2008. Rucervus duvaucelii, in: IUCN 2012, IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Versuon 2012.2. www.iucnredlist.org/

Eisenberg, J.F. and Seidensticker, J. 1976. Ungulates in southern Asia: a consideration of biomass estimates for selected habitats. Biological Conservation 10: 293-307.

Gopal, R. 1995. The Biology and Ecology of Hard Ground Barasingha C. duvauceli branderi in Kanha National Park, Ph.D.Thesis, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Dr H.S. Gour Vishvidhyalya, Sagar, M.P., India. 302 pages.

Gyawali, N. and Jnawali, S.R. 2005. Population status and habitat use of Barasingha (Cervus duvauceli duvauceli) in Royal Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. Tiger Paper (FAO) 32(1):. 6-10.

Khan, J.A. and Ahmed, K. 2004. Ecology and conservation of barasingha (Cervus duvauceli duvauceli) in northern India. Wildlife Society of India, Aligarh. Technical Report no.16.

Marcum, C.L. and Loftsgaarden, D.O. 1980. A nonmapping technique for studying habitat preference. The Journal of Wildlife Management 44: 963–968.

Martin, C. 1977. Status and ecology of the Barasingha (Cervus duvauceli branderi) in Kanha National Park (India). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 74: 60-132.

McNaughton, S.J. 1985. Ecology of a grazing ecosystem. The Serengeti. Ecological Monograph 55: 259-294.

Midha, N. and Mathur, P.K. 2010. Conservation implications of the channel changes in Sharda River on endangered swamp deer population and floodplain ecosystem in Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh, India. Current Science 98 (5), pp. 665-672.

Pokharel, C.P. 1996. Food habit and Habitat utilization of Swamp Deer (Cervus duvauceli duvauceli) in Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal. M.Sc. Thesis. Tribhuvan University, Nepal. 38 pages.

Prater, S.H. 1971. The Book of Indian Animals. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. 324 pages.

Qureshi, Q., Sawarkar, V.B. and Mathur, P.K. 1995. Ecology and Management of swamp deer (Cervus duvauceli) in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, U.P. (India). Project Report. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. 106 pages.

Qureshi, Q., Sawarkar, V.B., Rahmani, A.R. and Mathur, P.K. 2004. Swamp deer or barasingha (Cervus duvauceli Cuvier, 1823) In: Ungulates of India (Eds.: K. Sankar and S.P. Goyal) Envis Bulletin: Wildlife and Protected Areas, Vol.07, No. 1, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India, pp 181-192.

Moe, S.R. 1994. The importance of aquatic vegetation for the management of the barashinga Cervus duvauceli in Nepal. Biological Conservation 70: 33-37.

Sankaran, R. 1989. Status of Swamp Deer (Cervus duvauceli duvau-celi) in Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh, India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 87: 250-259.

Schaff, D. 1978. Population size and structure and habitat relations of the Barasingha (Cervus d. duvauceli) in Suklaphanta wildlife reserve, Nepal. Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA. 123 pages.

Schaller, G.B. 1967. The Deer and the Tiger. Chicago: Chicago University Press, Chicago. 370 pages.

Singh, Arjan. 1978. The Status of the Swamp Deer (Cervus duvauceli duvauceli) in the Dudwa National Park. Pages 132-142, In: Threatened Deer. Proceedings of a Working Meeting of the Deer Specialist Group of the Survival Service Commission on The IUCN Threatened Deer Programme and a Dossier on the Planning of Restoration Programmes for Threatened Mammals with Special Reference to Deer, held at Longview, Washington State, U.S.A. 26. September - 1 October 1977. IUCN, Morges, Switzerland.

Singh, V.P. 1984. Bio-Ecological Studies on Cervus duvauceli duvauceli, Swamp Deer (Barasingha) in Dudhwa Forest Near Indo-Nepal Border. Ph.D. Dissertation, Kanpur, India. D. A. V. College, Kanpur University, Kanpur. 125 pages.

Sinha, S.P. and Chandola, S.S. 2006. Swamp deer sighting in Uttaranchal State, India. Oryx 40 (1): 14-14.

Xu, F., Ma, M., Wu, Y. and Yang W. 2012. Winter daytime activity budgets of Asiatic Ibex Capra sibirica in Tomur National Nature Reserve of Xinjiang, China. Pakistan Journal of Zoology 44 (2): 389-392.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Comments on this article

View all comments

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

COPYRIGHT of this Journal vests fully with the National Instional Institute of Ecology. Any commercial use of the content on this site in any form is legally prohibited.