Garna: the inconspicuous beauty of the deserts of India and Pakistan

Garna is a small antelope that lives in the semi-desert regions of India and Pakistan. Its unassuming appearance hides a unique beauty and unique lifestyle.

Habitat and appearance

Garna is the only representative of the genus Antilope cervicapra, described by Pallas in 1766. The animal inhabits the territory of India and Pakistan, preferring semi-desert and rocky areas. Garna reaches 120 cm in length, 75-85 cm at withers, and weighs 32-45 kg. Males have horns up to 75 cm long, twisted into 4 turns.

Lifestyle and diet

Garnae are active in the early morning and evening hours, resting in the shade during the day. They feed exclusively on grass, and often enter cultivated fields. The animals visit the waterhole very rarely.

Social behavior and reproduction

Garnae live in herds of 5 to 50 individuals, consisting of one adult male, females, and their cubs. Young males are driven out of the herd. During the breeding season, male garnae are very aggressive, marking their territory with feces and special glands located near the eyes. Violent fights between rivals are not uncommon; horns are sometimes broken. The loser is driven from the harem territory. Pregnancy lasts on average 5.5 months, one calf is born weighing 3.5-4 kg. At the age of 2 months, the young harp becomes practically independent.

Conservation and threats

Garnets are hunted, and their numbers are also declining due to destruction of natural habitats. Currently, the number of garnets is estimated at 80-90 thousand individuals. However, thanks to the efforts of the Indian and Pakistani governments through wildlife conservation programs, it has been possible to stabilize the gharna population.

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