Why in News?
- Blackbucks in India have recently adapted well to natural and human-induced challenges to their survival.
- In spite of immense losses in grassland habitats across India, the data showed an increasing trend in blackbuck population numbers as compared to the recent past.
- The Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), or the Indian Antelope, is a species of antelope native to India and Nepal.
- It is widespread in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and other areas throughout peninsular India.
- It Is considered as the epitome of grassland.
- The blackbuck is a diurnal antelope (active mainly during the day).
- It has been declared as the State Animal of Punjab, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh
- It is a symbol of purity for Hinduism as its skin and horns are regarded as sacred objects. For Buddhism, it is a symbol of good luck.
- Velavadar Blackbuck Sanctuary – Gujarat
- Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary – Tamil Nadu
- In 2017, the Uttar Pradesh State Government approved the plan of setting up the Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in the trans-Yamuna belt near Prayagraj. It would be the first conservation reserve dedicated to the blackbuck.