Reports of the Tibet red deer, a subspecies of Cervus elaphus, have been so few in recent years that there were fears that the animal was extinct. A survey in a mountainous region of south-east Tibet in October 1995 found evidence that a few deer survive in one small area and possibly two others in high-altitude valleys of the tributaries of the Subansiri River. The most exciting finding of the survey, however, was an estimated 200-strong population of this deer in high rolling hills near the village of Zhenqi, north of the Yarlung Tsangpo River. This is the only known viable population of the deer and, although some hunting occurs, including by professional poachers from outside Tibet, the fact that it survives is an indication of the tolerance of the local people. The Tibet Forest Bureau has agreed to fund guards and to establish a reserve for the deer in co-operation with local people.
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