Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir will soon have its new 'state bird' however the Kashmir Stag (Hangul) will continue to be its ‘state animal.’
Official sources in Wildlife Protection department told Greater Kashmir that a new ‘state bird’ would be declared for Jammu and Kashmir very soon. "Yet Kashmir Stag (Hangul) would continue to be its ‘state animal’," they added.
They said that the wildlife protection department sent proposals to the government in this connection and was awaiting final nod.
The bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 led to the creation of two separate Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had the black-necked crane and Kashmir stag as its ‘state bird’ and ‘state animal’ respectively. But the black-necked crane is found only in Eastern Ladakh and the Hangul is found only in Kashmir Valley.
So following the bifurcation, new options for the bird and animal symbols were needed for the newly created Union Territories.
Recently the Ladakh administration declared black necked crane as its ‘state bird’ and snow leopard as its new ‘state animal.’
Sources said that after the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, among the many new tasks in front of the administrations was the identification and declaration of a new ‘state bird’ and ‘state animal’ for the two UTs.
But almost two years after its bifurcation, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir was yet to zero in on the same.
These symbols play an important role in reflecting the state or UT’s identity and driving conservation efforts for threatened species.
Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K Suresh Kumar Gupta told Greater Kashmir that the department sent some proposals regarding the new state bird to the government and hopefully the final decision would be taken soon.
“We are following it and hopefully next month when the wildlife week is to be observed, J&K will have its new ‘state bird.’ However Kashmir Stag (Hangul) will remain the state animal of Jammu and Kashmir,” he told.
Experts said that every state and UT of India has symbols such as the state bird, animal and flower, which are recognized for their importance in that region. They are chosen from the unique flora and fauna in the state and UT and they represent the culture and the natural wonders of that particular state/UT. These symbols play a vital role in boosting conservation and protection efforts with regard to the species that are integral to a state or UT.