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  Duvaucel Fown
 


The Barasingha (sometimes spelt Barasinga) is a type of deer, native to India and Nepal. In Assam in the North-East India, Barasingha is traditionally known as Dolhorina similar to its English name as dol in Assamese means swamp. In Central India it is called goinjak (male) or gaoni (female). The most striking feature of a barasingha is its antlers, with 10-14 tines on a mature stag, though some have been known to have up to 20.The name is derived from this and means 12 tined or horned in Hindi.

The binomial commemorates the French naturalist Alfred Duvaucel.
At one time the Barasingha was distributed throughout the basins of Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, as well as in central India as far as the Godavari River. Bones dating back over a thousand years have been found in the Langhanj site in Gujarat. Today, however, the species has disappeared entirely from the western part of its range. In 1964, the total for India was estimated at three to four thousand head. [Citation needed]

In central India, Barasingha disappeared from all but the Kanha National Park. Even here, from an estimated three thousand in the early 1950s, within a decade less than a hundred survived. And the number touched an all time low of 66 in 1970

 
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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 breeding season.

George Schaller wrote in The Deer and The Tiger, "Most of these remnants have or soon will have reached the point of no return." The warning, however, was heeded in time.

Concerted efforts at saving this species from extinction were made and have now borne fruit. Today, their count has crossed the five hundred mark.
 
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