Golden deer population falling at Chutthin Sanctuary

Goldern deers are seen at Chutthin Sanctuary. Photo: Stringer/Kyemon
Goldern deers are seen at Chutthin Sanctuary. Photo: Stringer/Kyemon

Myanmar environmental conservation and forestry organisations, along with local residents, are advocating for the prevention of the extinction of golden deer at the Chutthin Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located between Kantbalu and Kawlin townships in Sagaing Region.
The deer, which live in groups, are being over-hunted by deer hunters.
The sanctuary in upper Myanmar was established in 1940, when about 1,000 deers lived in the area. The sanctuary is now on a 66,273-acre forest reserve operated by the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry.
There were about 3,000 deer in the sanctuary in 1995 and 1996, when the Population was tracked using radio signals.
The vegetarian mammal’s scientific name is Cervus Eldithamin.
The sanctuary is also populated by 360 other species of mammals, including barking deers, wild cats and wild boars, 1,235 species of birds and 360 species of reptiles.
“Now there are just over 1,500 golden deer left in the sanctuary,” said a ranger in the sanctuary. He added that many of the deer are hunted by people who forage in the forest for any of its 70 medicinal herbs.
Local residents have said the hunting of the deer should especially be avoided during their mating and  birth season between October and November. They say the police and local authorities must  protect the deer and that hunters should be charged under the Wild Animals and Plants Protection and Environmental Conservation Act.
Hunters can sell a deer for K700,000 to K800,000 because of their distinctive gold-coloured hair, said the ranger.
Other golden deer populations also inhabit the Bagan Lawkananda Sanctuary in Mandalay Region—Myan Gon Saung

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