Wildlife dept to count leopards in Aravali Hills from May | india | Hindustan Times
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Wildlife dept to count leopards in Aravali Hills from May

india Updated: Feb 20, 2012 01:14 IST
Divya Sethi

As part of its effort to protect leopards, the wildlife department will conduct a survey in the forest range of the Aravali hills in May this year to ascertain the actual population of the endangered animal.

According to the forest officials, the census which was earlier planned from April 15 has been postponed to May 15.

Till then, an intensive awareness drive will be carried out to make people aware of the conservation of the eco-fragile zone.

The officials are busy in distributing pamphlets in the neighbouring areas.

"Through these pamphlets we are trying to convey the message that people should not tease the animals. They are also urged not to visit the forest areas alone and mingle with the wild animals," said chief wildlife officer RK Sapra.

He said the awareness campaign among locals will be followed by the census.

Experts from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun would be here to identify the possible locations of the wild cats.

According to sources, in 1993, there were 24 leopards in the district.

Seven years later, the number reached 30.

Officials are hopeful that number must have increased in the last five years as a ban has been imposed on mining activities in the area since 2006.

Experts say that earlier many leopards used to flee from the forest due to blasts sounds, which were common during mining activities.

Several times, leopards have trespassed residential areas as well.

Illegal mining and hunting of animals had threatened the existence of leopards in the region. But now things have improved.