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.

 

Characteristics

  • 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.

 

Status

  • 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.