Leopard caught on camera at Yamuna Biodiversity Park

53

An “unusual species” along the riverbed at Yamuna Biodiversity Park was spotted by a villager. The scientists at the Biodiversity Park got a hysterical call from the villager describing the “species” as “yellow, with a long mouth and a long tail.” All the details provided by the caller were recorded by the scientists in their register verbatim.

After performing several tests and getting many indications the scientists on Monday evening declared that, a leopard sighting has been caught on camera for the first time ever.

“This is for the first time that we have pug marks, photographs and videos of the leopard’s presence in a very long time though there have been claims of people seeing leopards in Delhi before” said the scientist in charge at the Yamuna Biodiversity Park, Faiyaz A Khudsar.

“It is believed that for about two weeks the leopard has been in the park. A team that tracked pug marks and did the ‘presence-absence’ tests was formed after we first received the call. On Monday, it was decided by the teams formed to install cameras to spot the leopard. While the installing of cameras was being done by us the leopard suddenly jumped in front of our vehicle,” he further was quoted as saying.

The spotting of animal has been called as major achievement for the city by because it has established the success of biodiversity parks and how these reconstructed ecosystems can restore an area’s wildlife.

“The presence of secondary carnivores shows that the food chain has been completed,” he further said. As the park has prey population such as — wild Asiatic cats, wild pigs and deer it can sustain leopard population. Babu was confident that since the male leopard had arrived at the park he may be followed by a female soon.

However Dr YV Jhala, a senior biologist at Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) was quoted as saying that the leopard sighting is not uncommon, and, having a leopard in the vicinity is, “safer than crossing Delhi’s highways”.

Kartick Satyanarayan, of Wildlife SOS, said that leopard sightings have been reported several times since 2002.

Earlier too leopard sightseeings has been reported from the Biodiversity park he further said. “ Pug Marks have been documented yet there is no clarity whether these sightings were captured on camera. There is ample of evidence,” said Satyanarayan.

India has 12,000 to 14,000 leopards but most of them are in high man-animal conflict zone, as per the estimated reports of WII. But, Delhi’s solitary big cat does not fall in that category yet.

Khudsar said they saw the panther from a separation of only 10ft. He said the male panther looked “young and powerful.”

Prior to this Khudsar and his group mates needed to endeavor to affirm its closeness. PIP or pug impression cushions, produced using lose soil tapped in 1×1 sqm cushions, were set up in a few areas after which the impression was fixed in throws of Plaster of Paris.

“In no less than 10 minutes he was before us. His stomach looked full as his midsection was hanging, which implies nature in the biodiversity stop is helpful for the survival of carnivores,” he said.

The Yamuna Biodiversity Park, spread more than 457 sections of land, is separated into two stages. The enormous feline was spotted at the stage II parcel, which is a dynamic floodplain, secured by tall grass called Tamarix saccharum.

The researchers at the Center for Management of Degraded Ecosystems (CEMDE), which has built up the biodiversity display in the city, said the panther may have voyage a separation of around 400 km to reach Delhi.

Accepted to have originated from Kalesar National Park in eastern Haryana, the panther headed out along the riverbed to reach here.

In the previous couple of years, panthers have seen in the Aravali region in Delhi and outer Meerut.

“The upstream extend of the stream is an open, prolific wetland where a great deal of rural exercises are finished. Countless are known to possess the Kalesar National Park and it more likely than not originate from that point,” said CR Babu, educator emeritus, CEMDE. The panthers typically move out from their known territory because of clog and low prey base.