Tuesday, 18 February 2020

NEWSLINK: Maharashtra tops in human deaths in tiger attacks

In a surprising development, Maharashtra has registered highest number of human deaths – 74 – in tiger attacks over a period between 2014 and 2019, reveals the data tabled in Parliament by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The data further stated that total 275 human deaths resulted in conflict with the big cat in the same period across the country. Besides, Maharashtra, West Bengal had registered the same numbers of deaths as victims of tigers. Uttar Pradesh with 49, Madhya Pradesh with 38 and Uttarakhand with 10 deaths follow the two states.

Speaking to Nagpur Today, Nitin Kakodkar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Wildlife disclosed various relating and preventive measures between these conflicts.

“Dependence of people on the forest, primarily for firewood, is the key factor of such incidents. These conflicts are mostly occurred in Chandrapur district. Most of the people living in the tiger infested areas, earn their livelihood owing to forests. So despite our awareness drive and high level monitoring to make locals aware about certain rules to be followed when tiger along with cubs is around, such conflicts occur,” said the PCCF.

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COMMENTARY: Looking for Sri Lanka's Charismatic Big Cat

In recent years, leopards in Sri Lanka (Panthera pardus kotiya), an endangered subspecies native to the island, have been grabbing local and international headlines for all the wrong reasons.

At the end of last year an adult male leopard was found dead and mutilated at Uda Walawe National Park. The killers had allegedly targeted it for its teeth and claws, which are prized items on the black market. A year ago this month, a leopard was found dead in a trap near a tea plantation. In July 2018, an adult female and two juvenile leopards were found dead from eating a poisoned cow carcass in the Nilgala Forest Reserve; and a month earlier, a mob beat to death a leopard that had strayed into a village.

The animal’s population is dwindling, standing at an estimated 1,000 today, and its habitats are shrinking even as the number of threats to its survival grows. Despite its protected status, both nationally and globally, the leopard is becoming increasingly threatened, and the recent killings highlight the intensifying human-wildlife conflict that extends to leopards in Sri Lanka.

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NEWSLINK: Mountain lion spotted in Simi Valley backyard is captured and relocated

A female mountain lion spotted in Simi Valley was captured and relocated to a more suitable habitat over the weekend, wildlife officials said.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife tracked the roughly 90-pound cat after it was seen in a tree in a backyard in the 600 block of Laguna Drive on Saturday.
“We darted it in one yard,” Fish and Wildlife spokesman Tim Daly said in an email Monday. “It ran into another yard before the drugs took effect.”

After being tranquilized, the approximately 3-year-old cougar was tagged and released outside the city.

The mountain lion was initially spotted around 9:20 a.m., prompting the Simi Valley Police Department to issue a temporary warning to residents to keep children and small animals indoors. No people or pets were harmed, officials said.

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SIGHTING, AUSTRALIA: Mysterious paw print on a remote dirt track in the Blue Mountains sparks fears a 'panther-like creature' is on the loose

A mysterious paw print found on a dirt track in the Australian bush has led many to believe big cats are roaming the area.

Four large paw prints were found on a trail in Leura, in New South Wales's Blue Mountains on Sunday.

Blue Mountains resident Kobe Bryant was running through the bush when he spotted the human hand-sized paw prints in the dirt.

He shared footage of his hand next to the paw prints to his Instagram page, sparking dozens of comments from people speculating where they came from.

Some suggested a wallaby, while others believed it could have been from the mythical black panther.

Mr Bryant said that due to the recent rainfall the track was untouched.

'I thought how nice it was to be on a track with no human footprints,' Mr Bryant told Daily Mail Australia.

'We rounded the corner and I nearly fell on it because I was trying not to step on it.'

He said the tracks were each as big as his hand and ruled out the possibility of a dog because they aren't allowed in national parks.

The group decided to show the footprints to a member from the Hunting and Shooting Association who strongly believed they belonged to a big cat.

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CONSERVATION: Why the Death of Mountain Lion P-56 Matters

On Monday, the National Park Service announced a significant loss to a small group of mountain lions in California’s Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. P-56, an adult male cat, was killed by a local landowner under the state’s new depredation law. He was presumed to be the father of several other animals who are part of a group the NPS has been tracking for nearly 20 years.

“The loss of a breeding male is a concern for the study, especially when the population is already very small,” Jeff Sikich, the park service’s lead field biologist for the project, said in a press release.

Other conservationists were more blunt. “We are in a dire situation,” says Beth Pratt, the leader of the Save L.A. Cougars campaign and regional executive director at the National Wildlife Federation. “P-56 was one of only two known, or collared, males within the region, and we just took him out. What if the other male gets hit by a car tomorrow?”

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VIDEO: Bobcat Poses For The Camera At Peninsula Home

Most wild animal sightings are fleeting; a doorbell camera rarely captures more than a second or two of footage before the visitor slinks out of the frame.

Not so for this bold bobcat, which recently stopped by a home in the Los Altos Hills and lingered in front of the camera long enough to let us see the spots on its fur, as seen on video on the Neighbors app.

Video shows the big cat walking slowly to the center of the frame and pausing before continuing on to the right and out of view.

Residents in the Los Altos area have welcomed quite a few big cats into their backyards in recent months, including multiple mountain lion sightings.

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NEWSLINK: California mountain lion killed after state issues permit

A Southern California mountain lion tracked by scientists as part of a federal study was killed after state wildlife officials issued a permit to a rural property owner whose livestock was repeatedly attacked, officials said Monday.

The male cougar dubbed P-56 was suspected of feasting on animals at a property in Camarillo, within the Santa Monica Mountains northwest of Los Angeles. The owner reported nine depredation incidents resulting in the loss of 12 animals over a two-year period.

National Park Service biologists said they were informed that P-56 was killed on Jan. 27.

It’s the first time the Department of Fish and Wildlife granted permission to kill a big cat in the Santa Monica Mountains under California’s depredation law, officials said.

Hunting mountain lions is illegal in California, but the state may issue property owners permits to kill any big cats that have killed or injured domestic animals or damaged property.

P-56, estimated to be about 5 years old, had been tracked via radio collar since 2017 by researchers studying how the animals survive as urban areas encroach into wildland.