Dead golden jackal found on Gurugram-Faridabad Road, wildlife officials attribute death to road accident
The wildlife department on Tuesday recovered the body of a female jackal near the Bandhwari landfill site, where it was discovered by locals in the morning. The species, which is commonly seen in Haryana, is protected under Schedule-III of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972). The animal, wildlife officials said, was likely pregnant and had died as a result of a road accident on Gurugram-Faridabad Road, just a few metres away from where it was discovered.
When called for a comment on the matter, R Dangi, district wildlife officer, Gurugram, said he would depute wildlife inspector Rajesh Chahal to look into the matter and conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. After recovering the body, Chahal said, “This seems like a case of roadkill as the body shows signs of impact near the head. The incident must have taken place about a week ago, but since it is winter, it has not decomposed as quickly.”
Given how bloated the corpse was, however, Chahal said a postmortem examination would not be conducted. “We are also unable to register an offence, even though it is a protected species because we cannot trace the person responsible,” he added. This is the third such incident of a golden jackal (whose conservation status on the IUCN Red List is one of ‘least concern’) dying on the Gurugram-Faridabad Road after meeting with an accident.
Environmentalists highlighted the region’s importance as a wildlife corridor, which connects Asola Bhatti in Delhi to Sariska in Rajasthan. As per a 2017 study by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), the Aravalli hills of South Haryana have a jackal population of 166, in addition to 31 leopards, 26 jungle cats, 91 porcupines, 50 mongoose, 126 hyenas, three wolves, four foxes, and 61 civets.
“However, like most of the Aravallis in Haryana, the area has not been notified as a forest or wildlife corridor under the Indian Forest Act,” Sunil Harsana, an activist and ecologist from Mangar village said. Given the proven presence of wildlife in the area, he also warned against ramping up any human activity that may pose a threat to wild animals. Neelam Ahluwalia, a city-based environment campaigner with the Aravalli Bachao group, said, “The region in question is an important wildlife corridor, with rich species biodiversity. It should be notified as such under the provisions of the Indian Forest Act, which could help further disruption due to road or other infrastructure projects. The upcoming waste-to-energy plant which has been proposed at Bandhwari is certainly a matter of concern, in terms of how it will impact wild animals in the region.”
[ADDITIONAL QUOTE FROM DANGI AWAITED]