The Golden Swamp Deer also known by the Nepali name Barasingha. They are a very sociable animal, and often found in large herds grazing amongest grassland in the wildlife region. The name Barasingha is derived from their large antlers (Bara meaning 12 and singha meaning horn), as their antlers can have as many as 12 points or horns. The swamp deer is a very alert animal and is always wary of its many predators, even while resting.
The Swamp deer is a medium size member of the deer family which is smaller than the Samber deer. It can grow to a height of about 130 cm and weight up to 180 kg. It has a slightly wooly coat(fur) which helps keep it warm and dry in the moist habitat it prefers. The colour of the Barasingha ranges from dark brown to pale yellow or golden colour which gives it good camouflage in the tall elephant grasses of the region. The male swamp deer has beautiful 12 points antlers, and they can grow up to approximately 75 cm long. As the mating season approaches the coat of the Barasingha will begin to darken in colour.
Swamp deer are less in numbers than the spotted deer and can be found throughout Nepal and India.
The Barasingha lives primarily in swampy grasslands or marshes, it remains close to water at all times. They can be seen in areas with tall grasses providing food and protection or in the rear rivers.
Barasingha are harbivores, their staple diet is grass and leaves, they can also be seen eating vegetables along river banks and will eat crops in farmland areas. Like many discerning herbivores they enjoy the new chutes and buds of plants.
Swamp deer are active and agile, they will graze in both the daytime and night. The herd will consisit of about 10-20 members, and consisit of males and females. They will keep in numbers also for protection and have various cries and calls to warn each other of impending danger and can also be seen stamping their hooves on the ground as a visual warning signal to others in the group. As breeding season approaches the numbers of the group will grow to between 30 and 60 and males will fight each other to establish dominance of the females.
The mating season varies depending upon the region, during the colder times. September to April in Nepal. The gestation period will be around 6 months and the females will produce only one offspring each season.