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Kashmir initiates radio collaring of leopards

Dachigam, Wed, 28 Mar 2012 ANI

Dachigam (J-K), Mar.28 (ANI): Radio collaring of leopards has been initiated in the Dachigam National Park with an aim to track its population and the animal's activities.

The park has a sizeable Indian leopard population.

The warden of the Dachigam National Park, Imtiyaz Ahmed, said this is an authentic method to gather information about the leopard population in the area.

"The collaring of leopards has taken place for the first time in the state. This is an ambitious plan, right now the most important task is to collar the leopards and record their movements, home range, and get information about their interaction with other animals as per the movements. Based on this information we assimilate comprehensive scientific data. Apart from its home range, we also gather information about the number of leopards present in this area comfortably," he said.

Ahmed said the method would help to monitor the hunting pattern of the animal to ensure that the endangered Hangul stag population is not being affected in the area.

Wildlife researcher Athar Noor said radio collaring is carried out with the help of the Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.

"The collar that has been placed by us helps to detect them from a distance of two kilometers. We follow it more closely; we track them and estimate as to how much the GPS fixes and locations of that particular track. We also get to know about their food pattern from the direct or indirect evidence that we get, be it in the form of a pugmark or the dropping of its excreta. We confirm their locations from the scrapings and movements. They serve as confirmatory add on to our information," he said.

Forest authorities said the tracking of leopards would help in keeping a track of their habitats and also restrict them from encroaching into human habitat.

As per the records of the state wildlife authorities, during the last five years, 127 persons have lost their lives due to the wild animal attacks, while 1,311 others sustained injuries in these attacks. (ANI)

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