The Wildlife Park is home to the only breeding herd of Bukhara deer (Cervus elaphus yarkandensis formerly listed as C.e.bactrianus) in the UK and currently has a small herd of six animals. This deer species is an endangered sub-species of the red deer, threatened by habitat degradation, logging and poaching.
“The young fawn is doing well and is already growing quickly. Whilst he may still be small, he has no problems keeping up with his mother and the rest of the herd, as deer are always quick to get to their feet and run after birth,” said Stellar.
Bukhara deer are related to red deer and American elk and are native to central Asia, found in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and possibly Afghanistan. Bukhara deer were once one of the most threatened mammal species after populations and range started to diminish greatly in the 1970s and 1980. By 1998 to 1999 only 350 deer were left in the wild; however, as a result of conservation efforts to reintroduce this species and to restore their natural habitat, Bukhara deer now number over 1,400 animals in the wild. Whilst the reintroduction of this deer has been successful, their population numbers are still low, which is why the captive breeding of Bukhara deer remains important to their survival.
Resettlement Bukhara deer and wild boars in Tasmuryn:
(Source: Prohuntkz Mergen YouTube channel)
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning conservation and restoration of the Bukhara deer (Cervus elaphus yarkandensis) was developed and became effective on 16 May 2002. It was developed under the auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species in collaboration with the Central Asia Programme of the WWF Russia. The MoU area currently covers four range states in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. While Afghanistan is recognised as an additional range state of Bukhara deer, but it has not signed the MoU yet.
(Source: RZSS press release, 28.06.2016; IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™; Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animalswebsite)