The epizootic disease, sarcoptic mange is a wide-ranging problem across multiple taxa of the world. Its presence in Himalayan species has seldom been recorded and much less understood. This article is the first account of deaths caused by this disease in the cryptic and understudied Himalayan Serow, Capricornis thar, in the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand, India. Data of deaths caused by sarcoptic mange in serow was collected by chance encounters with deceased individuals, semi-structured interviews with village communities and retrieving information from the Kedarnath Wildlife Department’s wildlife mortality archives. Between the months of March and October 2016, at least 12 adult serows were confirmed to have died due to sarcoptic mange, a number that according to the local community was higher than ever before for a given year. This account sheds light on the importance to understand long-term trends and mechanism of this disease in such mountain ungulate species, along with studying the ecology and habitat use of the serow, so that sustained conservation initiatives can be implemented.
Khanyari, M., Geladi, I & Ryan, R. (2017) Observation of multiple sarcoptic mange related deaths in Himalayan serow, in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, India. IUCN Caprinae Newsletter.