Monday, 21 April 2014

NEWSLINK: Aravali cat corridors needed to shield leopards’

GURGAON: For a city that is fast earning the adage of a concrete jungle, Gurgaon has a major share of the total 300 sqkm of leopard habitat in Haryana. While the forest department boasts about the number of leopards in the habitat, believed to be around 25, it is also worried about the safety of big cats.

Apart from the biggest threat, of humans encroaching on their territory, three major roads passing through the leopard habitat also pose a grave danger, officials say. They are NH-8, Rampura-Mohammedpur-Tauru and Palwal-Sohna-Rewari roads.

"According to the study conducted by the department, these areas require corridors to prevent such incidents. The roads should be elevated so that the habitat is minimally affected by traffic," said Vinod Kumar, conservator of forests (wildlife). Leopards have been hit while trying to cross these roads while the loss of habitat to construction and human encroachment often sees them straying into areas of human settlement. In either case, it's been fatal for the leopards. "The fragmented corridors should also be linked so that a larger habitat is available for the leopards and there are fewer chances of these animals straying into villages," Kumar suggested.
Locals residents in Manesar, located close to the Aravali foothills, claimed mining was a serious threat to the wildlife in the region. "Mining-related blasts here have increased tenfold and it has forced the animals to leave the region," said Amber Singh, a Navrangpur resident.
"To meet their daily food and water requirements, these big cats tread into human settlements as people have encroached on both land and water bodies. Their chances of survival are thin," said a 

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