First systematically described by RI Pocock in 1943 and Ellerman and Morrison-Scott in 1951, the hard ground barasingha, also known as the central Indian Barasingha (Cervus duvauceli branderi Pocock, 1943) is one of the two sub-species of the nominate species of the Indian swamp deer(Cervus duvaucel iduvauceli Cuvier, 1823).
While it is known as the north
Indian sub- species, the north-eastern sub-species of this deer,
(Cervus duvauceli ranjitsinhi Groves, 1985), occurs probably only
in the Kaziranga National Park. Each sub-species slightly differs
from another morphologically.
This cervid, once widely distributed in central India, is now endemic to the Kanha Tiger Reserve, with itsonly free-ranging wild population. The species witnessed a steep decline in thepopulation, and was almost on the brink of extinction during the early Seventies. By 1970 only 66 individuals were left in the wild.
Extraordinary managerial efforts and strict protection has gradually restored Barasingha population in Kanha to a relatively safer status. Currently, there are around 600 animals in the protected area.