Musk Deer Awareness programme 1024px

Himalayan Musk Deer

Conserving the Himalayan Musk Deer in Langtang National Park, Nepal 

The Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) is critically endangered according to IUCN status. Adult males produce the musk secretion that gives the species its name. This glandular secretion is processed into perfume and medicines and is highly sought after, especially in South Asia and China (Syez and Ilyas 2016). Although the hunting of musk deer is officially prohibited, the high black market prices are leading to an increase in poaching. Habitat loss and degradation due to agriculture or deforestation, as well as poaching dogs, are putting additional pressure on musk populations.

The Stiftung Artenschutz is involved in Langtang National Park (LNP) in western Nepal. Poaching is the main threat to the musk deer here (Thapamagar et al. 2019). A survey of the local population should provide information on the exact distribution status of the musk deer and poaching activities. This will make it possible to identify the areas that are particularly affected by poaching in order to destroy traps and snares that have been sighted here.

Threat factors are to be reduced by educating the local population. The aim is to establish an information centre about the musk deer and to change the mindset of the local population through additional workshops. By involving schoolchildren, future generations will also be sensitised to conservation issues. For a long-term perspective, the development of a strategy for alternative sources of income is necessary and also planned. One promising solution is ecotourism, for example.

Project Fact Sheet

Species

 

Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster)

 

Threats

 

Hunting of male animals due to the continuing demand for musk

 

Project aim

 

Protecting the musk deer by rethinking the population