Tuesday, 14 January 2020

NEWSLINK: Tiger footage spurs hope for Thai big cat population

A male tiger noses the bloodied carcass of its latest kill in a Thai national park, extraordinary footage conservationists are hailing as a rare spot of good news for the endangered big cats.

The species has teetered on the brink of extinction across the Mekong region due to deforestation and demand for its striking pelts and body parts in traditional medicine.

But a pocket of forest split between Thailand and Myanmar -- known as the Dawna Tenasserim -- has become a holdout for the big cat.

Sightings of wild tigers are rare, but Thailand remains "one of the last strongholds" for them in Southeast Asia, WWF said Monday.

Camera traps placed in Thailand''s Mae Wong National Park in western Kamphaeng Phet province captured in late December a tiger circling a dead wild gaur, known to be the world''s largest bovine.

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NEWSLINK: Pugmarks set off tiger alarm

Pugmarks spotted in the Simplapal forest in Bankura and the Malaboti forest in Jhargram’s Silda on Sunday morning have prompted the forest department to launch an inquiry to find out whether they belong to tigers.

The local beat offices have been put on alert and a team has been sent to measure the pugmarks and make casts, a senior forest department official said on Sunday.
Photographs of the pugmarks are being analysed.

“Prima facie the pugmarks seem to belong to an adult and a sub-adult tiger but we are not yet certain,” the official said.

The area where the pugmarks were spotted on Sunday is close to where a tribal hunting party killed a Bengal tiger in Lalgarh on March 2018, the forest department official said.

Villagers spotted the pugmarks in forests along the Bankura-Jhargram border early on Sunday and alerted the forest department and police.

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Friday, 10 January 2020

NEWSLINK: Villagers kill leopard after it mauls boy to death

Angry people killed a leopard hours after it mauled a 14-year old boy to death in Bijnore’s Bhogpur village on Monday.

Six people were killed in leopard attacks since November last year in the district and the forest department now planned to use drone cameras and set up traps to track the movement of big cats.

Senior forest and administration officials, including district magistrate Ramakant Pandey and SP (city) Lakshmi Nivas Mishra, reached the village with a large number of policemen on getting the news of the killing.

While the boy’s body was sent to the district hospital for autopsy, a post-mortem examination was also carried out on the leopard, which was killed in a sugarcane field by the villagers.

According to Najibabad divisional forest officer Manoj Kumar Shukla, “The leopard killed Prashant Kumar, 14, of Bhogpur village. Later, the villagers shot it dead. The boy’s family will be given Rs 5 lakh as compensation.”

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NEWSLINK: Now fish water to be used to draw leopards near cages

In an unconventional approach to keep a leopard away, the forest department has been advising villagers to sing loudly while crossing fields alone. Now in yet another strange method, the forest officials are trying to draw leopards close to the cages by sprinkling water used to wash fish near the cages. After leopards killed two children and injured one in Surat and Bharuch, attempts are being made to trap it at the earliest before it can target any other human.

“We are sprinkling water in which fish, especially bumla or Bombay duck, was kept and cleaned. The water with strong smell of fish is being sprinkled around the cage and the track of leopard to bring the wild cat close to the cage and trap it,” said Puneet Nayyar, deputy conservator of forest, Surat.

The forest department normally keeps bait of chicken or goat in cages to attract the leopards. However, for a stronger smell in current situation, the forest officials are now using the water in which fish is kept for better results.

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NEWSLINK: Florida panther road kills, overall deaths down in 2019

Florida panther road kills were down in 2019 compared to recent years, but that might not be a good thing as more road kills generally means there are more panthers roaming the Sunshine State.

Twenty-seven panther deaths were documented last year by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the state agency charged with protecting endangered and threatened species.

Twenty-three of those deaths were caused by vehicle collisions, down from 26 in 2018 and 24 in 2017. A record 34 panthers were killed by cars in 2016, according to FWC records.
The iconic Florida panther is the official state animal with population numbers between 120 and 230 individuals, most of which live south of Lake Okeechobee and in or near Collier County.

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NEWSLINK: Poachers kill 16 lions with poison chicken before hacking off their paws and faces

Poachers have killed 16 lions at a safari park in South Africa and sliced off their faces for use in black magic rituals and potions.

The butchered bodies of the slaughtered big cats were discovered on Friday morning at Predators Rock Bush Lodge near the city of Rustenburg.

Gert Blom, owner of the park, said he went to investigate after growing concerned having not heard the roar of his lions, only to find their carcasses laid out on the ground without their paws and snouts, which had been brutally cut off by the poachers killed them.

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NEWSLINK: Forest department to use drones to track big cat movement

Concerned about the increase in tiger attacks on people and cattle in villages bordering the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Dudhwa and Pilibhit, the UP forest department has decided to deploy drones to keep a watch on the movement of big cats.

The decision comes on the heels of the death of a 45-year-old farmer of Nankar village in Lakhimpur Kheri on Monday. According to officials, four others have been injured in tiger attacks in the area since December 28.