Kashmir officials start radio collaring of leopards

March 19th, 2012 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, March 19 (IANS) Wildlife protection officials at the Dachigam National Park near Srinagar Monday started radio collaring of leopards to understand the home range and behavioural patterns of leopards in Jammu and Kashmir.

Imtiyaz Ahmad Lone, wildlife warden (Central Kashmir) told IANS: “Radio collaring of a leopard has been done for the first time in the state today. By radio tracking of the leopard, we intend to study the home range, behavioural patterns etc. of these animals in the wild so that the growing problem of man-animal conflict is better addressed.”

Earlier, the wildlife protection officials had fixed a radio collar on a bear in the Dachigam National Park.

Due to shrinking of their natural habitat, wild animals have been coming in direct conflict with human beings in Kashmir.

“During the last five years, 127 persons have lost their lives in wild animal attacks while 1,311 others sustained injuries in these attacks,” the wildlife warden said.

Besides coming down into human habitations, predators like leopards and bears have also been attacking the highly endangered Hangul in the Dachigam National Park.

A rare species of red deer, Hangul are found only in Kashmir. Their dwindling numbers have sounded alarm bells among conservationists all over the World.

At present, the Hangul population is believed to have come down to just 214 animals found only inside the Dachigam National Park.

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