Prime Minister of India has recently addressed the Manipur Sangai Festival.
About the ‘Sangai Festival’ –
- Every year the State of Manipur celebrates the “Manipur Sangai Festival” from 21st to 30th November.
- The objective is to showcase Manipur as a world class tourism destination.
- The ‘Festival’ is named after the State animal, Sangai, the brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur.
- It started in the year 2010.
- The theme of this year’s Sangai festival is “Festival of oneness”.
- Every edition of the festival showcases the tourism potential of the state in the field of Arts & Culture, Handloom, Handicrafts, Indigenous Sports, Cuisine and Music of the state etc.
Sangai Deer –
- Scientific Name — Rucervus eldii.
- Common Name — Sangai, Brow antlered deer, Dancing Deer.
- Population — About 260 (according to a joint census conducted by the Forest Department in 2016).
- Habitat and Distribution — It is found only in Keibul Lamjao National Park – the largest single mass of phumdi is in the Loktak Lake – in Manipur’s Bishnupur district.
- Sangai is a medium-sized deer, with uniquely distinctive antlers, with extremely long brow tine, which form the main beam.
- The forward protruding beam appears to come out from the eyebrow, hence called the brow-antlered deer.
- It has a dark reddish-brown winter coat, which turns paler in summer.
- The deer walks on the hind surface of its pasterns with mincing hops over floating foliage, and is hence also called the Dancing Deer.
- State animal of Manipur.
- Schedule-1 of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Endangered on IUCN Red List.
Conservation Issues –
- Sangai faces threat from steadily degenerating habitat of phumdi as a result of continuous inundation and flooding caused due to artificial reservoir.
- There is also invasion of non-native plants like Paragrass.
- It also faces threats of diseases from the livestock, inbreeding depression and poaching.