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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/110

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CHAPTER VIII

BEASTS, BIRDS, FISHES, AND INSECTS

Fauna.— With the spread of cultivation and drainage the Pan jab plains have ceased to be to anything like the old extent the haunt of wild beasts and wild fowl. The lion has long been extinct and the tiger has practically disappeared. Leopards are to be found in low hills, and sometimes stray into the plains. Wolves are seen occasionally, and jackals are very common. The black buck (Antilope cerricapra) can still be shot in many places. The graceful little chinkdra or ravine deer (Gazella Bennetti) is found in sandy tracts, and the hogdeer or pdrha (Cervus porcinus) near rivers. The nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) is less common. Monkeys abound in the hills and in canal-irrigated tracts in the Eastern districts, where their sacred character protects them from destruction, though they do much damage to crops Peafowl are to be seen in certain tracts, especially in the eastern Panjab. They should not be shot where the people are Hindus or anywhere near a Hindu shrine. The great and lesser bustards and several kinds of sand grouse are to be found in sandy districts. The grey partridge is everywhere, and the black can be got near the rivers. The sisi and the chikor are the partridges of the hills, which are also the home of fine varieties of pheasants including the mondl. Quail frequent the ripening fields in April and late in September. Duck of various kinds abound where there are jhils, and snipe are to be got in marshy ground. The green