Rajasthan: Leopard count takes a leap but black buck falls

  • Sachin Saini, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • Updated: Apr 20, 2016 13:17 IST
The number of leopards in Rajasthan have risen from 420 to 434 according to the wildlife census. (HT Photo)

The 2015 wildlife census has shown a 3% uptick in leopard population and 2% slide in black buck count in Rajasthan.

The feline count has risen from 420 to 434, according the census data ferreted out from 23 wildlife sanctuaries and Keoladeo national park.

Most of the leopards were found in the protected area of Kumbhalgarh (88), followed by Mount Abu (40).

Count of black bucks, which are worshipped by the Bishnoi community in Rajasthan, fell from 18,021 in 2014, to 17,697 in 2015.

The survey that covered 19 species has recorded a 8% rise in number of nilgais, which might upset farmers whose farmlands are frequently raided by the bull. In 2014, there were 65,823 nilgais in Rajasthan that increased to 70,924 in 2015.

The census also announced an increase in the number of four-horned antelope, chital, chinkara (Indian gazelle), junglee billi (wild cat), wild boar, sambhar and porcupine.

Rajasthan’s chief wildlife warden GV Reddy said, “Birth and death rate cannot be determined in a year as it requires monitoring of at least three-four years. Similarly, sighting of animals also depends on availability of water or rain.”

He said the department discontinued water-hole census in Sariska and Ranthambore as it was not scientific.

“We now adopt camera trap and line transact method but it cannot be used in other areas because of less density,” Reddy said.

Water-hole census involves monitoring animals from specially constructed tree houses close to water-holes of the forest. This kind of census gives a rough idea of wildlife presence and its condition.

The other animals whose count saw a down swing are: sloth bear, wolf, hyena, black buck, langur, fox, mongoose and jackal.

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