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Thread: Spotted beauty

  1. #1
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    Default Spotted beauty

    The Indian Leopard in its most natural habitat.
    I made this image in Gujarat's famous GIR forest in November 2012. We were tracing the calls of a sambar deer far away and then had to suddenly stop behind other jeeps. The other guides informed us that the leopard was accompanied by another one that disappeared into the grass in a jiffy.
    This lovely creature had its attention pinned onto something far away in the opposite direction, I thought it was too occupied to look at us.
    Soon though, it did look back at all jeeps and stunned me with that killer look.
    After a few minutes, it carried on slowly into the dry grass in stalk mode. We moved on further as the leopard could not be seen, but were stopped for quite sometime by Deer and Langur alarm calls emanating from the direction the leopard had strayed into. What a moment it was!

    EXIF:

    ISO 400
    Shutter 1/160 sec
    Aperture f/5.6
    EV- 0
    Focal length- 250mm
    Canon EOS 550D, 55-250mm
    50% crop.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    It is so nice to see the leopard in Gir in its true habitat. Nice pose. Looks like that it feels disturbed.
    Gir has sizable population (above 200 long back) of leopard but it is as elusive as ever. It seems that it has no direct conflict with lion as in the case with tiger but it avoids the lion to protect its kill.
    Any idea about present status of leopard in Gir ?
    Thanks for sharing.SaktiWild

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    Dear Saajan, Lovely framing. I am yet to visit Gir forest. Thanks for sharing.

    Dear Saktipadada, As per the 2011 Census, the population of leopards in the sanctuary spread over 1,412 sq km in Junagadh touched the mark of 450, almost same as that of Asiatic lions. And nearly 170 of them have dispersed to peripheral areas on the coastline. This has become a cause of concern for humans, especially labourers working in mines and sugarcane fields in Veraval and Kodinar talukas. Debasis Bose

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    It is always a nice feeling to see a leopard in any terrain. Happy that you have sighted one in Gir.

    I am not aware of the lion-leopard relationship in Gir. However, in africa lions don't leave a chance to kill leopards. One filmmaker who had spent about 5 months inside gir about 10 years back had told me that he had only sighted leopards about 5 times.

    As far as the number of lions and leopards, I am not sure if the methodology used is fool proof. Normally these numbers are based on estimation, so there is a lower range and an upper range. So I am not sure how the Gujarat Forest department is giving one particular number for each species.

  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone
    As you mentioned sabyasachi ji..On speaking to a few guides, I was told that leopard sightings are very rare.
    I also found out that there have been instances where an asiatic lion's ego has confronted a leopard. But most of the times, the leopard manages to get away quickly, mostly by climbing a tree.
    I agree with Sabyasachi ji about the question as to how true the numbers given by the forest dept are? Not only gujarat, I sometimes doubt the tiger estimation numbers too, especially when it conmes at a time when the govt is moved to conserve it, not by will but by pressure

  6. #6
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    Nice to see a leopard from Gir..

    TFS
    Roopak

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