Rucervus duvauceli branderi
The barasingha is considered a vulnerable species by the IUCN (1996). R. d. duvaucelii is considered a vulnerable subspecies, while R. d. branderi is classified as endangered. Most serious, however, is the status of C. d. ranjitsinhi: critically endangered. Rare Barasingha or swamp deer, the Hard-ground barasinghas (Rucervus duvauceli branderi) is found only in Kanha. In central India, the barasingha disappeared from all but the Kanha National Park. Even here, from an estimated 3000 individuals in the early 1950s, within a decade less than 100 survived. The number reached an all-time low of 66 in 1970.
Seen at Kanha National Park.
Hunting, poaching and, more important, diversion of the bulk of grassland to agriculture, are considered the main causes of their reduced numbers. Tall grass is not only their food, but also provides security for young fawns during the birthing season. Barasingha is Hindi for "twelve horns", from barah (Hindi) twelve, and sig (Hindi) a horn, as this deer usually has twelve tines on its antlers.