Habitat Utilization by Alpine Musk Deer, Moschus chrysogaster (Artiodactyla, Moschidae), in Khaptad National Park, Nepal.

Keywords: musk deer, Khaptad National Park, alpine ecosystem, distribution


The musk deer is one of the solitary and crepuscular species that distributes throughout an alpine ecosystem. The limited individuals of musk deer are facing multiple threats, and anthropogenic one of the most pressured. Our study was conducted in the western, Nepal, the Khaptad National Park. We employed a line transect method to understand the relationship between musk deer and their environments. Pellet group was found higher in the forested environment followed by open grassland, trails, and edge. Musk deer preferred an altitudinal range between 2400m and 3200m. Our study did not find any signs of the musk deer below 2400m and above 3200m. We found that the pellet group of the musk deer had mostly associated with close distance to water body; however it was found far distance to village. Avoiding edge areas by the muck deer could be the presence of livestock and human pressure. Anthropogenic pressure should be reduced in the musk deer habitats for long term musk deer conservation in Nepal.


Anwar, M., Minhas, R. A. 2008. Distribution and Population Status of Himalayan Musk Deer (Moschuschrysogaster) in the Machiara National Park, AJ and K. Pakistan Journal of Zoology, 40 (3).

Aryal, A., 2005. Status and distribution of Himalayan Musk deer 'Moschus chrysogaster'in Annapurna Conservation Area of Manang District, Nepal. A report submitted to ITNC, UK.

Aryal, A. 2009. Habitat ecology of Himalayan serow (Capricornissumatraensis ssp. thar) in Annapurna Conservation Area of Nepal. Tiger paper, 34 (4), 12-20.

Aryal, A., Raubenheimer, D., Subedi, S., Kattel, B. 2010. Spatial habitat overlap and habitat preference of Himalayan Musk Deer (Moschuschrysogaster) in Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Nepal. Current Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 2, 217-225.

Bhandari, S., Morley, C., Aryal, A., Shrestha, U. B. 2020. The diet of the striped hyena in Nepal's lowland regions. Ecology and Evolution, 10 (15), 7953-7962.


Bhandari. S., Chalise, M. K., Pokhrel, C. P. 2017. Food habits of the tiger (Pantheratigristigris) in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. European Journal of Ecology 3 (1), 80-84.


Cameron, M. 1995. Biodiversity Conservation and Economic Development in Nepal's Khaptad National Park Region: Untouchables as Entrepreneurs and Conservation Stewards. Himalaya, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, 15 (2), 16.

Dendup, P., Namgay.,Lham, C. 2018. Winter distribution and poaching of Himalayan musk deer Moschuschrysogaster and Moschusleucogaster in JigmeDorji National Park, Bhutan. International Journal of Conservation Science, 9, 193-198.

Duwadee, N. P. S., Kunwar, R. M. 2001. Botanical survey of Khaptad National Park and buffer zone area, far western Nepal. BotanicaOrientalis, 165-170.

Green, M. J. 1986. The distribution, status and conservation of the Himalayan musk deer Moschuschrysogaster. Biological Conservation, 35, 347-375.


Ilyas, O. 2015. Status, habitat use and conservation of Alpine musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) in Uttarakh and Himalayas, India. Journal of Applied Animal Research, 43, 83-91.


Ivelv, V. S. 1961. Experimental Ecology of the feeding of Fishes. Yales University Press, New Haven.

Joshi, P. 2011. Himalayan Musk Deer in Mustang, Nepal: A study on species confirmation and potential distribution. M.Sc. Thesis. Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Karki, M. B. 2008. Distribution and Population Status of Himalayan Himalayan Musk Deer (Moschuschrysogaster, Hodgson 1839) in Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Nepal. M.Sc. Thesis. Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuwan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Kattel, B. 1992. Ecology of the Himalayan musk deer in Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal. Ph.D. thesis, Colorado State University, USA.

Kattel, B., Alldredge, A. 1991. Capturing and handling of the Himalayan musk deer. Wildlife Soc. B., 19, 397-399.

Khadka, K. K., James, D. A. 2016. Habitat selection by endangered Himalayan musk deer (Moschuschrysogaster) and impacts of livestock grazing in Nepal Himalaya: Implications for conservation. Journal for Nature Conservation, 31, 38-42.


Khan, M., Baba, M.A., Choudhury, A.R., Mansoor, M. 2006. A Comparative Gross Anatomical Study on the Tongue of Musk Deer (Moschusmoschiferus) and Goat (Capra hircus) by Massarat Khan. Zoo's print, 21 (6), 19-20.

Kunwar, R. M., Acharya, R. P., Chowdhary, C. L., Bussmann, R. W. 2015. Medicinal plant dynamics in indigenous medicines in farwest Nepal. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 163, 210-219.


Kunwar, R. M., Duwadee, N. P. S. 2003. Ethnobotanical notes on flora of Khaptad National Park (KNP), far-western Nepal. Himalayan Journal of Sciences, 1 (1), 25-30.


Majupuria, T. K, Majupuria, R. K. 2006. Wildlife and protected areas of Nepal. Bangkok, Thailand: Craftsman Press Ltd. 549.

Qureshi, B. D., Anwar, M., Hussain, I., Beg, M. A. 2013. Habitat utilization of Himalayan musk deer (Moschuschrysogaster) in the Musk Deer National Park Guraiz, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. The Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences, 23, 1366-1369.

Sheng, H. L., Liu, Z. X. 2007. The musk deer in China. Shanghai: The Shanghai Scientific & Technical Publishers.

Shrestha, T. K. 1997. Mammals of Nepal, with reference to those of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Pakistan. Steven Simpson Natural History Books, Hingham, United Kingdom, 1-371.

Singh, P. B., Shrestha, B. B., Thapa, A., Saud, P., Jiang, Z. 2018. Selection of latrine sites by Himalayan musk deer (Moschusleucogaster) in Neshyang Valley, Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Journal of Applied Animal Research, 46, 920-926.


Subedi, A., Aryal, A., Koirala, R. K., Timilsina, Y. P., Meng, X., Mckenzie, F. 2012. Habitat ecology of Himalayan musk deer (Moschuschrysogaster) in Manaslu Conservation Area of western Nepal. International Journal of Zoological Research, 8 (2), 81-89.


Sutherland, W. J. 2006. Ecological census techniques a handbook. 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press, UK.


Syed, Z., Ilyas, O. 2016. Habitat preference and feeding ecology of alpine musk deer (Moschuschrysogaster) in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand, India. Animal Production Science, 56, 978-987.


Thapamagar, T., Bhandari, S., Ghimire, K.C., Bhusal, D. R. 2019. Threats to endangered musk deer (Moschuschrysogaster) in the Khaptad National Park, Nepal. Folia Oecologica, 46 (2), 170-173.


Thapamagar, T., Magar, K.T., Pandey, M., Bhandari, S., Bhusal. D. R. 2018. Habitat preferences and conservation status of Himalayan musk deer (Moschuschrysogaster) in LangtangNational Park, Nepal. Journal of Ecology & Natural Resources, 2 (6), 000152.


Wemmer, C. 1998. Deer, Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Deer specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge.

Yang, Q., Meng, X., Xia, L. and Feng, Z. 2003. Conservation status and causes of decline of musk deer (Moschus spp.) in China. Biological Conservation, 109 (3), 333-342.


Zhixiao, L., Helin, S. 2002. Effect of habitat fragmentation and isolation on the population of alpine musk deer. Russian Journal of Ecology, 33 (2), 121-124.


Zhou, Y., Meng, X., Feng, J., Yang, Q. 2004. Review of the distribution, status and conservation of musk deer in China. Folia Zoologica, 53, 129-140.

How to Cite
Thapamagar, T., Bhandari , S., Acharya , H. R., Awasthi , B., Thapa Magar , K., Bhusal , D. R., & Youlatos , D. (2021). Habitat Utilization by Alpine Musk Deer, Moschus chrysogaster (Artiodactyla, Moschidae), in Khaptad National Park, Nepal. Zoodiversity, 55(5). https://doi.org/10.15407/zoo2021.05.405