Indian Mouse Deer And Chousingha:
As part of an animal exchange programme recently executed by the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP) with Kakatiya Zoological Park in Warangal, IGZP has received two new species, Mouse Deer and Chousingha.
- The Indian Mouse Deer or Spotted Chevrotain is the smallest deer in India and is highly nocturnal.
- Scientific Name: Moschiola indica
- It is endemic to the Indian Subcontinent.
- It is mainly found in peninsular India, with some old records from Nepal.
- Sri Lanka has a separate species called the spotted chevrotain (Moschiola meminna).
- Within India, it is commonly encountered in a number of forest areas along the Western Ghats, in the Eastern Ghats up to Orissa, and in the forests of central India.
- It is small, 25-30 cm at shoulder height, and weighs from two to four kg.
- The fur colour of the Indian spotted chevrotain is dark brown with white underparts.
- There are four or five light rows of white spots on the back. Males of this species have tusk-like upper canines.
- A unique feature of this group is that instead of a four-chambered stomach like in other ruminants, they have a three-chambered stomach.
- It forages on the forest floor for fruits, roots, leaves, and herbs.
- It has occasionally been observed eating insects, crustaceans, and even small mammals.
- Conservation Status: IUCN: Least Concern