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ALIGARH July 3: Dr. Orus Ilyas, Department of Wildlife Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University delivered a ‘Golden Jubilee Lecture’ on “Musk deer: 50 years of Conservation” at a national seminar on “Importance and challenges of Kasturi (Musk) in Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics”, organised by the Regional Ayurvedic Research Institute Ranikhet, Almorah. The seminar marked the completion of 50 years of conservation of Musk deer at Mehruri, Bageshwer.

Dr Ilyas said there are seven species of Musk deer found in the world and out of them, five species are found in India and are listed as Schedule I species of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and the Endangered IUCN Red list.

“Musk deer are found at the higher altitude of Himalayas from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh above 2500m to 4500m. Their population is declining due to habitat fragmentation and intensive poaching for musk, a secretion of the preputial gland of the male, which is used in perfume and pharmaceutical industries. To collect one kilogram of musk, around 300 adult males are killed and the cost in international market is around INR 2.5 Crores”, she added.

Dr. Orus Ilyas has a vast study on the ecology and conservation of musk deer in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. She has surveyed several national parks and musk deer sanctuaries and published papers in national and international peer-reviewed journals on this topic.

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