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Thread: The plight of the Leopard: Over 130 killed this year

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    Default The plight of the Leopard: Over 130 killed this year

    Dear All,
    Sharing this story that was published in Times of India.

    Over 130 leopards killed this year: Report
    TNN, Sep 18, 2010, 02.46am IST

    LUCKNOW: The leopard deaths are continuing in the country. The anti-poaching cell of Uttarakhand forest department seized two leopard skins on Wednesday night from Chakrata in Dehradun district. There have been about 130 leopard deaths so far this year. Most of them have been reported from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

    The Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), the agency helping forest departments in UP and Uttarakhand in seizures and wildlife crime cases, estimates 81 leopard deaths from Uttarakhand alone this year. The agency's database also shows over 35 leopards reportedly killed by poachers. According to the figures released by the ministry of environment and forest ( MoEF) in 2008, the country did not have more than 11,000 leopards. The number is constantly going down. "Leopards live on the periphery of forests and that makes them more vulnerable," said a UP forest official.

    Leopard conservation in the country is more or less clubbed with that of tigers, as quite a big number of leopards exist in tiger reserves. But no effort has been made to go for a leopard census to arrive at an exact number existing within and outside the protected areas. Conservationists feel this has affected the systematic protection of leopards.

    Leopard faces the severest backlash from humans and grave threat from poachers. The declining prey base and shrinking habitat forces the big cat to venture out of the forest area. When it attacks humans and livestock, it faces a backlash. The experts are of the view that ill-will that rises in the human communities in and around forest areas, after leopard attacks them or their cattle, supports poaching and poisoning of leopards.

    Leopard is a versatile cat which is not selective about its habitat. Maximum number of leopards are found in UP, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Meanwhile, Uttarakhand forest department also seized a leopard cat skin and a Himalayan black bear gall bladder.

    The source article can be found here: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/h...ow/6576183.cms

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    Leopards are still considered as vermins by most of the people. The pace in which the leopards are getting wiped off is alarming and perhaps they will outrun tigers in the extinction race if ample protection measures are not put in place at the earnest.

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    Default Fast Dissappearing wilderness habitat

    In our country we have vastly different climatic zones and soil types with different eco-systems. Each eco-system harbours its own life-forms.

    We are bleesed in having soem such systems which aallow the tiger to thrive, but each ecosystem has its balance and it would react to any disturbance by trying to reach a new equilibrium. With many disturbances attributable to human factors and climatogical changes these eco-systems are facing huge disturbances and threats. To preserve biodiversity and the gene pool we need to have a much more detailed understanding of what all exists in a particular eco-system. We humans are also a part of many eco-systems and there are plants and animals from the microscopic to the massive that are a part of each eco-system. As the top speceis we must consider it our task to ensure that our economic activities have a minimum effect on these systems.

    For example we humans try to use a micro-eco-system to produce bread from wheat flour, salt, water and oil. By inoculating this system with yeast we have already made substantial changes in the eco-system of the dough.

    Therefore the ideas of introduction of new speceis into ecosystems can have catastrophic effects as we have be seen from the introduction of Rabbits into Australia.


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