Kanger Valley National Park

May 31, 2023

A rare Indian mouse deer or spotted Chevrotain was recently spotted in the Kanger Valley National Park in Chhattisgarh.

About Kanger Valley National Park:

  • Location: It is located in Jagdalpur in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh state
  • The National Park derives its name from the Kanger River, which flows centrally from the Northwest to the Southeast direction. 
  • It got the status of a national park in the year 1982.  
  • Topography:It is noted for its highly heterogeneous land formations ranging from low flat and gentle areas to steep slopes, plateaus, valleys, and stream courses.  
  • It is home to three exceptional cavesfamous for their  amazing geological structures of Kutumbasar, Kailash and Dandak- Stellagmites and Stalactitees.
  • National Park is known for the presence of underground limestone caves with dripstone and floston. The  stalegmites and stalactite formation is still increasing. 
  • Tirathgarh Waterfall is located in Kanger Valley National Park.
  • Vegetation: It is distinguished blend of mixed moist deciduous type of forests with the predominance of Sal, teak and bamboo.
  • Fauna:
    • Major wild animals include tigers, mouse deer, leopards, wildcat, sambar, chital, barking deer, langurs, jackals, rhesus macaque, flying squirrel etc.
    • The areal fauna at the park consists of common hill myna, red jungle fowl, spotted owlet, racket-tailed drongos, parrots etc.

Key facts about rare Indian Mouse Deer or Spotted Chevrotain:

  • It is the smallest deer in India and is highly nocturnal.
  • Scientific Name: Moschiola indica
  • Distribution:
    • 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 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.
  • Features:
    • It is small, 25-30 cm at shoulder height, and weighs from two to four kg. 
    • A unique feature of this group is that instead of four-chambered stomach like in other ruminants, they have a three-chambered stomach.
    • It forages on 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