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RE: Bigcats News - sanjay - 02-12-2017

The man eating tiger from Pilibhit, India has been captured, Read the full detail in tiger extinction thread - http://wildfact.com/forum/topic-on-the-edge-of-extinction-a-the-tiger-panthera-tigris?pid=35892#pid35892


RE: Bigcats News - Pckts - 02-16-2017

THIRD IN TWO MONTHS......
Kolitmara,Pench,NAGPUR:
One more tiger was found dead on Tuesday morning in Nagargota in Kolitmara (West Pench) range of Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR). The tiger reserve lost third tiger in last one month.
On January 13, a tigress from Saleghat Wildlife Sanctuary, also part of Pench, was electrocuted in a farm in Maharkund along with two sambars. On January 14, another tigress was found dead in Tuiyapaar in East Pench range's core area followed by Kolitmara now.
According to Rishikesh Ranjan, chief conservator of forests (CCF) & field director, the incident occurred in compartment number 669 and it looks to be a case of territorial fight as the tiger, around 5-year-old, was badly injured.
"All the body parts of the tiger are intact and hence poaching is ruled out," Ranjan added.
The fresh carcass was first noticed at around 8.30am by a section of tourists. They informed the officials concerned. A team of officials from Nagpur including divisional forest officer (DFO) SB Bhalavi, Wildlife Trust of India's (WTI) Prafulla Bhamburkar as National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) representative, district honorary wildlife warden Kundan Hate as chief wildlife warden's representative, department's wildlife veterinarian Dr GM Kadu rushed to Kolitmara. Three livestock development officers (LDOs) from Parsheoni were also summoned.


RE: Bigcats News - Rishi - 02-18-2017


*This image is copyright of its original author

One more tiger camera-trapped at RISHIT 4 compartment of Neora Valley National Park, North Bengal!!!..


RE: Bigcats News - parvez - 03-03-2017

To ensure a more accurate census exercise of tigers and other vulnerable and endangered animals in forests across India in 2018, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has decided to double the number of camera traps.
The recent missive from NTCA calls for bringing down the grid size of setting up camera traps from 4 sq km to 2 sq km. India has 50 tiger reserves spread over 18 tiger range states — Maharashtra has six. The new norm will be binding on all tiger-bearing states to ensure data compatibility. The changed norms will also make sure tracking stations are doubled and robust data is generated
"The grid size for camera trap set ups will now be 2 sq km. This will help us count smaller prey and non-prey animals like porcupines, mouse deer and the chousingha (four-horned antelope), and also endangered and vulnerable species. It will give us an estimate of the number of these animals, and whether their numbers are rising or falling," an NTCA official told DNA.
More camera traps will also help develop a richer repository of camera trap images of tigers, and will promote research.
"The increase in captures by camera traps will increase detection probability and accuracy while decreasing the margin of error," he said.
The additional camera traps will be installed in forests from November 2017 to November 2018.
The official said that the decision as taken in a recent meeting in New Delhi between NTCA officials, experts from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), wildlife wardens and field directors of tiger-range states.
Camera trapping will commence from November 2017 in tiger areas, and data collection is expected to be completed and submitted by November 2018. WII will analyse data from November 2018 to January 2019. The report will be published in March 2019.
Kedar Gore, Director, The Corbett Foundation welcomed the move. "Tigers cannot be studied in isolation. Its presence has to be correlated with prey species. Smaller grids and more cameras would lead to a higher probability of tigers being photo-captured," he said.
NTCA conducts a tiger census every four years. The third round was conducted in 2014, and saw 9,735 cameras deployed on 3,78,118 sq km forests in 18 tiger states, and estimated India's tiger population at 2,226, with a minimum range of 1,945 tigers and maximum of 2,491. The increase in camera traps will help narrow down this range and make figures more exact.

*This image is copyright of its original author

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-camera-traps-set-to-double-in-tiger-bearing-states-2339588


RE: Bigcats News - Roflcopters - 03-03-2017

that's definitely a great start! also on the side note, I heard tiger population is growing North West of India and even in areas like Betla, Valmiki, Simlipal, Neora Valley and Rajaji. hopefully things stay this way.

tfs


RE: Bigcats News - Rishi - 03-07-2017

(03-03-2017, 09:59 PM)Roflcopters Wrote: that's definitely a great start! also on the side note, I heard tiger population is growing North West of India and even in areas like BETLA, Valmiki, Simlipal, Neora Valley and Rajaji. hopefully things stay this way.

tfs


If you have any such reports from Betla/Palamau, please share...   Wicked


RE: Bigcats News - Roflcopters - 03-08-2017

(03-07-2017, 09:54 AM)Rishi Wrote:
(03-03-2017, 09:59 PM)Roflcopters Wrote: that's definitely a great start! also on the side note, I heard tiger population is growing North West of India and even in areas like BETLA, Valmiki, Simlipal, Neora Valley and Rajaji. hopefully things stay this way.

tfs


If you have any such reports from Betla/Palamau, please share...   Wicked

Tiger spotted at Betla National Park after 2 years

TNN | Updated: Feb 23, 2017, 11.03 AM IST

d boar, the Indian gaur and bison. "While the population of sambhar has decreased a little others have sufficiently increased in recent years," the official added.









A tiger census by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) had recorded presence of three tigers in the 1,026 square kilometre PTR area.









Not agreeing completely with the WII study, the state wildlife department had claimed that there may be more than five tigers in the entire reserve. The forest department, thereafter, mooted its plan of installing camera traps along the PTR's core for sighting and documenting of the big cats. Besides monitoring the camera traps the forest officials have also resorted to scat analysis to ascertain the exact number of tigers present in the forest.








The tiger count in PTR, which stood at 38 in 2005 and decreased to 10 in 2010, was recorded at a mere three in a census conducted in late 2014.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/tiger-spotted-at-betla-national-park-after-2-yrs/articleshow/57299806.cms

even though it's just a few sightings but i have hopes that the population will rebound in these areas.




RE: Bigcats News - Rishi - 03-08-2017

(03-08-2017, 01:10 AM)Roflcopters Wrote:
(03-07-2017, 09:54 AM)Rishi Wrote:
(03-03-2017, 09:59 PM)Roflcopters Wrote: that's definitely a great start! also on the side note, I heard tiger population is growing North West of India and even in areas like BETLA, Valmiki, Simlipal, Neora Valley and Rajaji. hopefully things stay this way.

tfs


If you have any such reports from Betla/Palamau, please share...   Wicked

Tiger spotted at Betla National Park after 2 years

TNN | Updated: Feb 23, 2017, 11.03 AM IST

d boar, the Indian gaur and bison. "While the population of sambhar has decreased a little others have sufficiently increased in recent years," the official added.









A tiger census by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) had recorded presence of three tigers in the 1,026 square kilometre PTR area.









Not agreeing completely with the WII study, the state wildlife department had claimed that there may be more than five tigers in the entire reserve. The forest department, thereafter, mooted its plan of installing camera traps along the PTR's core for sighting and documenting of the big cats. Besides monitoring the camera traps the forest officials have also resorted to scat analysis to ascertain the exact number of tigers present in the forest.








The tiger count in PTR, which stood at 38 in 2005 and decreased to 10 in 2010, was recorded at a mere three in a census conducted in late 2014.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/tiger-spotted-at-betla-national-park-after-2-yrs/articleshow/57299806.cms

even though it's just a few sightings but i have hopes that the population will rebound in these areas.

Tiger spotted at Betla National Park after 2 years
TNN | Updated: Feb 23, 2017, 11.03 AM IST




*This image is copyright of its original author
Representative image

DALTONGANJ/RANCHI: Residents of Betla have got a new neighbour. After a gap of almost two years a big cat has returned to prowl. Forest department officials have been on the trail of the tiger after it reportedly killed an ox near a village under Satbarwa police station three months ago.

On Tuesday, tourists went into a state of excitement after the majestic beast was spotted during a jungle trail. Many of them clicked PHOTOGRAPHS WHICH WENT VIRAL on social media.

.
Anybody seen these "Viral" photos!? I couldn't find any...



RE: Bigcats News - Vinay - 03-08-2017

^ This is viral pic of Betla बेतला नेशनल पार्क में आज सुबह बाघ देखा गया ।


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author



RE: Bigcats News - Ngala - 03-09-2017

South Africa's Plan for Legalized Lion Carcass Trade Sparks Outcry
Allowing 800 lions a year to be harvested for their skulls, teeth, and bones has no scientific merits, said leading conservation groups, in response to a recently announced government plan.
BY EVA HERSHAW
Mar 3, 2017 02:04 PM ET

South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs announced this week that it will allow 800 captive-bred lion skeletons to be exported every year. It's an attempt, the agency said, to cap the supply of a commodity that has grown exponentially since it was legalized in 2007.

Conservation groups were quick to denounce the plan, claiming it has no basis in science and could, perversely, lead to an increase in black market demand for wild lions.

"There's a new market and new evidence of wild lions being killed for their body parts," said Paul Funston, the senior director of the lion program at Panthera, a global, wild cat conservation organization. "That was something we didn't see in time gone by, but now we are seeing a sharp increase in lions being killed just to harvest body parts."

Ninety percent of lion carcasses in the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique had their skull, teeth, and claws removed last year, according to Panthera. In Namibia, 42 percent of killed lions had their heads, feet, tails, skins, and claws removed — a phenomenon that didn't occur during a similar killing spate in 2014.

"We strongly urge South Africa to take into account the wider impact of the captive lion bone trade beyond its borders," Debbie Banks of the Environmental Investigation Agency, said in a statement.

The 800-skeleton quota is the latest in a series of efforts to control the lion bone trade, which has been promoted by the government and some conservationists as an alternative to the heavily regulated tiger bone products popular in China and Southeast Asia, especially Laos and Vietnam. International efforts at protecting tigers and other large charismatic Asian cats have become — inadvertently — a factor in the growth of the lion bone industry.

Prevailing opinion is that rising Asian affluence is driving demand for tiger products, such as "tiger bone wine," which is considered a health remedy for rheumatism and arthritis, among other ailments. As the tiger trade came under international scutiny, dealers turned to other large cats, like lions, as a viable, legal alternative.

When the hunting of captive-bred lions was legalized in South Africa in 2007, it was done under the auspices of wild lion conservation. By allowing hunters to kill captive-bred lions, the government believed it could effectively remove pressure on wild populations. The lion bone trade surged shortly thereafter, as a secondary market to the hunting of captive-bred lions.

Wild lion populations have been severely depleted across Africa, with only 20,000 remaining from some 30,000 reported two decades ago, according to Panthera. There are now more than 9,100 lions in South Africa, about a third roaming in the wild, according to figures compiled by Traffic, a wildlife monitoring group. In 2013, South Africa reported 5,800 captive-bred lions, a number that has nearly doubled since 2005.

Until 2007 the export of live lions and lion parts was an "unremarkable blip" in global wildlife trade, according to report by Traffic. From 2008, however, the quantities exported increased almost six-fold. Between 2014 and 2016, South Africa legally exported an estimated 1,300 lion skeletons each year.

In response to public backlash to the proposed quota, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) reiterated that the measures were intended to protect wild lions.

"One of the main concerns is that lion bones may be illegally sourced from wild lion populations if the trade in the bones originating from captive bred lions is prohibited," the department said in a statement. "A well-regulated trade will enable the Department to monitor a number of issues relating to the trade, including the possible impact on the wild populations."

But as the number of captive-bred carcasses exported from South Africa continues to rise, according to Funston, so does the incidence of wild lions illegally harvested for parts that could be sold on the legal market, or "white" market.

"White market trade stimulates black market trade," Panthera's Funston said. "As soon as you legitimize trade, then there are people that want to take part, and they're drawn in."

And that is why Panthera is calling for a total prohibition on captive lion breeding and its secondary markets, such as hunting and the export of lion skeletons.

Last year, citing a declining lion population across much of Africa, conservation groups tried to improve lion protections by urging nations to agree to a complete ban on trade in wild- or captive-bred lion parts. The effort failed, though, and current international regulations allow for exports if government scientists declare the trade won't be detrimental to the survival of a species.

While the DEA maintains the 800-skeleton quota was based on an assessment of the previous year's trade data, they are now reviewing public comment on the issue, promising that no lion bone exports will be authorized until the quota has been fully implemented.

"Even if that quota is 100, we're concerned that this trade, and new form of market, stands to hurt wild populations," said Funston. "We believe the South African government has fueled this market, and we're afraid this could be repeated across other countries without South Africa's resources to spend on management."


RE: Good News & Success Stories - Rishi - 03-09-2017


*This image is copyright of its original author


Asiatic lions relocation plan from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh sanctuary gets fillip
Updated: Mar 01, 2017 00:56
Neeraj Santosi

*This image is copyright of its original author

There are plans to reintroduce Asiatic lions in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur wildlife sanctuary from Gujarat.(AP File Photo)

There are some positive signs in the much delayed reintroduction of Asiatic Lion in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur wildlife sanctuary from Gujarat.
Besides an expert committee on translocation of lions to MP recommending it as an ideally suited for second home of lions, the Gujarat government’s wildlife department has conveyed that “if all the guidelines of IUCN (International Union For Conservation of Nature) are followed, Gujarat does not have any issue in translocation ...”

The development came to light on Tuesday in the MP state legislative assembly where the minutes of a recent meeting of the committee were submitted.
The committee constituted by the Supreme Court in 2013 visited Palpur-Kuno Sanctuary and held its sixth meeting there stating that Kuno was ideally suited as a second home.


RE: Bigcats News - Ngala - 03-12-2017

Rajasthan first in the country to launch project leopard
JAIPUR Updated: Mar 10, 2017 19:11 IST
Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times

The big cat’s population in Rajasthan has declined over the years. (HT Photo)

*This image is copyright of its original author

Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to launch a project to conserve leopards by improving their prey base, mitigating conflicts with humans and controlling poaching.

Leopard is an endangered animal under schedule one of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The big cat’s population in Rajasthan has declined over the years. According to 2015 wildlife census, there are 434 leopards in the state. Around 20 leopards have been killed between 2014 and 2016 in accidents or by humans when they strayed into human habitations or agricultural fields.

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje announced Project Leopard in her budget speech for 2017-18 on March 8 and set aside ₹7 crore for it.

“Many a time’s leopards enter human settlements adjoining forest areas. Many incidents of human-leopard conflict have come to light. Due to this, there is resentment among the public. But there are examples where humans and leopards co-exist peacefully,” she said while announcing the project.

HT has accessed an exclusive copy of the proposal that the forest department sent to the CM for the project.

According to the proposal, Project Leopard will run in eight sanctuaries – Jaisamand Sanctuary in Udaipur, Bassi Sanctuary in Chittorgarh, Shergarh Sanctuary in Baran, Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary-Raoli Todgarh Sanctuary (stretched from Ajmer to Udaipur), Mount Abu Sanctuary-Sundamata Conservation Reserve (Sirohi and Jalore), Jhalana Aamagarh Conservation Reserve in Jaipur, Jawai Conservation Reserve in Pali and Khetri Bansyal Conservation Reserve in Jhunjhunu.

These sanctuaries are spread across 1926.80 square kilometres.

“The project work plan will be to mitigate man-leopard conflict, conserve leopard population by countering the threats the predator’s faces and create goodwill between local communities and leopards,” said a senior wildlife official associated with the project. “In conserving leopards, the project will also boost conservation of bears, lesser cats, other smaller mammals and prey species, and support leopard conservation through capacity building, research and monitoring,” he added.

Pressure is exerted on protected areas by grazing livestock, extraction of fodder, timber and non-timber forest products and illegal occupation. These lead to human-animal conflict inside forests.

“Several animals have started moving into habitations and agriculture fields as there is an increasing in the wildlife population, non-availability of food and water inside forests and protected areas. This is leading to man-animal conflict. Conflicts with leopards are generally violent and are on the increase,” the proposal read.

Between September 2016 and February 2017, six people were killed by leopards of Sariska Tiger Reserve, who strayed into peripheral villages. A leopard with a broken canine was later trapped and sent to Jaipur.

The steering committee of Project Leopard will be chaired by forest minister; principal chief conservator of the forest will be the vice-chairman, chief wildlife warden, and member secretary. Directors of eight leopard sanctuaries, chief conservator of forest of those areas and wildlife experts will be members of the committee, the proposal said.

The committee will report to the state board of wildlife.


RE: Good News & Success Stories - Rishi - 03-12-2017


*This image is copyright of its original author


     Rajasthan first in the country to launch project leopard
JAIPUR Updated: Mar 10, 2017 19:11 IST

*This image is copyright of its original author

Sachin Saini 
Hindustan Times



*This image is copyright of its original author


The big cat’s population in Rajasthan has declined over the years. (HT Photo)




Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to launch a project to conserve leopards by improving their prey base, mitigating conflicts with humans and controlling poaching.
Leopard is an endangered animal under schedule one of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The big cat’s population in Rajasthan has declined over the years. According to 2015 wildlife census, there are 434 leopards in the state. Around 20 leopards have been killed between 2014 and 2016 in accidents or by humans when they strayed into human habitations or agricultural fields.
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje announced Project Leopard in her budget speech for 2017-18 on March 8 and set aside ₹7 crore for it.
“Many a time’s leopards enter human settlements adjoining forest areas. Many incidents of human-leopard conflict have come to light. Due to this, there is resentment among the public. But there are examples where humans and leopards co-exist peacefully,” she said while announcing the project.
HT has accessed an exclusive copy of the proposal that the forest department sent to the CM for the project.
According to the proposal, Project Leopard will run in eight sanctuaries – Jaisamand Sanctuary in Udaipur, Bassi Sanctuary in Chittorgarh, Shergarh Sanctuary in Baran, Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary-Raoli Todgarh Sanctuary (stretched from Ajmer to Udaipur), Mount Abu Sanctuary-Sundamata Conservation Reserve (Sirohi and Jalore), Jhalana Aamagarh Conservation Reserve in Jaipur, Jawai Conservation Reserve in Pali and Khetri Bansyal Conservation Reserve in Jhunjhunu.
These sanctuaries are spread across 1926.80 square kilometres.

“The project work plan will be to mitigate man-leopard conflict, conserve leopard population by countering the threats the predator’s faces and create goodwill between local communities and leopards,” said a senior wildlife official associated with the project. “In conserving leopards, the project will also boost conservation of bears, lesser cats, other smaller mammals and prey species, and support leopard conservation through capacity building, research and monitoring,” he added.
Pressure is exerted on protected areas by grazing livestock, extraction of fodder, timber and non-timber forest products and illegal occupation. These lead to human-animal conflict inside forests.
“Several animals have started moving into habitations and agriculture fields as there is an increasing in the wildlife population, non-availability of food and water inside forests and protected areas. This is leading to man-animal conflict. Conflicts with leopards are generally violent and are on the increase,” the proposal read.
Between September 2016 and February 2017, six people were killed by leopards of Sariska Tiger Reserve, who strayed into peripheral villages. A leopard with a broken canine was later trapped and sent to Jaipur.
The steering committee of Project Leopard will be chaired by forest minister; principal chief conservator of the forest will be the vice-chairman, chief wildlife warden, and member secretary. Directors of eight leopard sanctuaries, chief conservator of forest of those areas and wildlife experts will be members of the committee, the proposal said.
The committee will report to the state board of wildlife.



RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 03-12-2017

Environment ministry committee approved Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh as second home for Asiatic lions

An environment ministry’s expert committee has approved Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh as the second home for Asiatic lions found only in Gir national park but the Gujarat government will not share lions unless 33 studies as mandated by international wildlife watchdog IUCN is completed, the minutes of the committee’s meeting tabled in MP assembly on Tuesday disclosed.
Translocation of lions from Gir to Kuno Palpur has been a bitter issue between the two BJP rules states for more than a decade with Prime Minister Narendra Modi terming the big cats as “pride of Gujarat” which it cannot share when he was Gujarat’s chief minister between 2002 and 2014.
The committee at its last meeting in December 2016 in Kuno, which officials from Gujarat forest department also participated, said that the wildlife habitat was “ideally suited for second home for lions”.
“The committee had recommended translocation but time limit for the translocation had not been fixed,” the state government said in a written reply to a question raised by Congress legislator Ram Niwas Rawat.
Although in principle the Gujarat government has not opposed translocation, the minutes showed that the neighbouring state wants all 33 studies, mandated by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in 2013 for wildlife relocation across the world, should be conducted to check whether Kuno was suitable for translocation or not.
Uday Vohra, conservator of forests (wildlife) Gujarat, at the meeting spoke about state’s proposal for 33 ecological studies before lion relocation. Vohra said preparing the action plan for relocation without studying results and findings of these studies would not solve the issue.
Responding to this, Roy P Thomas, member convener of the committee clarified that the issue was discussed in May 2016 and added that the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) had shared a document indicating the relevance of the studies. It said that 7 studies have been completed, 11 more were being conducted and seven were not required. The committee agreed that the WII’s document should be made part of action plan for lion reintroduction.
The studies cover issues like habitat status, prey base, vegetation cover, local weather and so on.
When contacted, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) MP Animesh Shukla said the lion relocation project was inching forward.
“The PCCF Gujarat had visited Kuno in November and expert committee met there in December. The committee said it was ideal second home for the lion, he said. Regarding studies mandated under IUCN guidelines, the committee is taking the call as it is looking after all the aspects of the relocation project. We are facilitating the process to the best of our capability”
In August last year, even union minister of state for environment and forests Anil Madhav Dave had told reporters in Bhopal said MP will get lions from Gujarat soon as 80 % of the work for reintroduction project was complete in Kuno.


Box: Lion relocation project

As Asiatic lions exist only in Gir sanctuary, experts have often expressed apprehensions that high rate of inbreeding and less genetic diversity could make them susceptible to epidemics and make them extinct. In 1993, WII conducted a study to identify the best area for translocation of lions and they found Kuno-Palpur in Sheopur district, nearly 140 kms from Gwalior, most suitable. In this light, a proposal was mooted to translocate a few of the Gir lions to MP in 2000. Wildlife activist Fayaz Khudsar filed a public interest petition in the apex court in 2006 and sought translocation of Gir lions to MP. In April 2013, the apex court in a judgment directed that the lions be translocated to Kuno-Palpur in MP.
There are some positive signs in the much delayed reintroduction of Asiatic Lion in the Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur wildlife sanctuary from Gujarat. Besides expert committee on translocation of lions to MP recommending it as ideally suited for second home for lions, the Gujarat government’s wildlife department has conveyed that “if all the guidelines of IUCN (International Union For Conservation of Nature) are followed, Gujarat does not have any issue in translocation of lions from Gir national park to Kuno sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh”.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/bhopal/environment-ministry-committee-approved-kuno-palpur-in-madhya-pradesh-as-second-home-for-asiatic-lions/story-kYQwBbXZxWiULLBdVnlHdK.html


RE: Bigcats News - Ngala - 03-16-2017

Not just tigers, leopards too need protection now
alt DHAVAL KULKARNI | Sat, 11 Mar 2017-07:25am , Mumbai , DNA

A female leopard found in Yavatmal that had its paws, along with some of its organs, missing

*This image is copyright of its original author

In what has set off alarm bells in the state forest department, a female leopard has been found poached at Yavatmal with her paws and organs missing.

This comes days after a leopard that was found drowned in a well at Kinvat in neighbouring Nanded district had its paws and teeth removed. In January, three leopards were found dead, two in Nagpur and one in Chandrapur, due to unnatural causes like poisoning and snare trapping respectively.

While conservation efforts focus on the tiger as an apex predator and a flagship species, Maharashtra, which has a healthy population of leopards, has seen a loss of 458 of these since 2010, of which 74 were due to poaching. The number of leopard deaths due to accidents stands at 162, and 222 are due to natural causes.

This points to how the leopard, which like the tiger, is a Schedule I animal (listed under this schedule of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972) entitling it to the highest degree of protection, needs more conservation efforts being directed towards it.

According to the state forest department's figures, the year 2016 saw the highest toll registered, at 89 (since 2010), of which seven leopards died due to poaching.

"On Wednesday, we found a dead four-year-old female leopard at Takli village near Yavatmal. We suspect that a goat's carcass was poisoned to kill the leopard whose paws, teeth, whiskers, and tail were cut. A post-mortem was conducted and the samples sent for analysis," a forest department official told DNA.

The post-mortem detected that the leopard had eaten a goat, which may have been poisoned.

Another forest department official said that on March 4, a leopard had drowned in a well at Kinvat in Nanded in the area controlled by the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM). The animal was extricated from the well and its paws and teeth were cut off, the official said, adding that, however, they did not suspect an organised poaching racket to be involved.

It is estimated that India's leopard population is around 12,000 to 14,000, with tiger bearing areas having around 7,910 of these big cats, according to the 2014 tiger census. In contrast, the statistics of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) show that tiger mortalities in Maharashtra between 2010 and 2016-end stand at 65.

Leopard deaths:
2016:
Natural: 53
Accidents: 29
Poaching: 7
TOTAL: 89

2015:
Natural: 29
Accidents: 31
Poaching: 6
TOTAL: 66

2014:
Natural: 33
Accidents: 23
Poaching: 9
TOTAL: 65

2013:
Natural: 17
Accidents: 19
Poaching: 7
TOTAL: 43

2012:
Natural: 25
Accidents: 29
Poaching: 14
TOTAL: 68

2011:
Natural: 37
Accidents: 18
Poaching: 15
TOTAL: 70

2010:
Natural: 28
Accidents: 13
Poaching: 16
TOTAL: 57