The Indian blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra Linnaeus , 1758 ) is a herd living antelope of the Indian and Pakistan grasslands. It was formerly one of the most common ungulates in Pakistan and India numbering almost 4 million in the beginning of the 20th century, but due to intensive hunting and habitat destruction it is now rare. In the 19th century herds as large as 8000-10000 animals occasionally congregated. In 1947 The Wild Life Preservation of India estimated 80000 blackbucks, but only 8000 remained in 1964. In 1977 unofficial counts said 5000-10500. In Pakistan the situation was even more desperate with no more than a few blackbucks left in 1970. In 1989, however, the population in India was estimated to 43500 individual. There are currently 2017 blackbucks in captivity, however the species also exists as “exotic game” on ranches in e.g. Texas , US.
Kolmården Zoo keep a stock of blackbucks since the late 1960s with declining fawn survival rate. Therefore, I executed this study to determine what caused the decreasing survival percentage. The aim was to, through studbook research and behavioural studies, determine the cause/-s to the elevated mortality.
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Last updated: 05/14/08