Prelims 2020

Q. Which of the following are the most likely places to find the musk deer in its natural habitat?

1.Askot Wildlife Sanctuary
2.Gangotri National Park
3.Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary
4.Manas National Park

Select the correct answer using the code given below:
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 3 and 4 only
d) 1 and 4 only
Correct Answer : a) 1 and 2 only

Question from UPSC Prelims 2020 GS Paper


Musk Deer and its Habitat

The musk deer, known for its valuable musk pod, is primarily found in the forested and alpine scrub habitats of the Himalayas. Given the options, we need to identify the locations that are part of or close to the Himalayan region and known for their alpine or forested environments where the musk deer could naturally reside.

1. Askot Wildlife Sanctuary

Askot Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Uttarakhand, India, near the Himalayas. It is known for its diverse flora and fauna, which includes a variety of species adapted to the Himalayan environment. It is a plausible habitat for the musk deer due to its location and ecological characteristics.

2. Gangotri National Park

Gangotri National Park is also situated in Uttarakhand, India, and encompasses a significant portion of the upper catchment of the Ganges River. The park is part of the Himalayan region and features rugged terrain with high-altitude forests and meadows. It is an ideal habitat for species like the musk deer.

3. Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary

Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh, India. This region is located in the Terai area, far from the Himalayas. It primarily consists of moist deciduous forests and is known for its tiger, leopard, and deer populations, but it is not a typical habitat for the musk deer, which prefers higher altitudes.

4. Manas National Park

Manas National Park is located in Assam, India, at the foothills of the Himalayas. It is known for its rich biodiversity and is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site. While it is close to the Himalayan region, its elevation and ecological characteristics are quite different from the high-altitude habitats preferred by the musk deer. Manas is more famous for its population of tigers, elephants, and rhinos, among other species.

Given the information and focusing on the natural habitat preferences of the musk deer, the most likely places to find the musk deer in its natural habitat among the given options would be:

  • Askot Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Gangotri National Park

Therefore, the correct answer is a) 1 and 2 only.

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