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Uttarakhand a killing field for leopards

 


TIMES OF INDIA
Oct 1, 2011, TNN[ Neha Shukla ]

LUCKNOW: Uttarakhand is turning into a virtual killing field for leopards. Out of 136 registered cases of leopard poaching in 2011 so far, 51 have been reported from the hill state. The Uttarakhand police in two separate incidents has seized three leopard skins in the past 10 days.

A leopard skin was seized and two persons arrested by the Uttarakhand STF in Dehradun on Thursday. Two leopard skins, gall bladder of a Himalayan black bear, musk pod of a musk deer, and other items were seized by the SOG, Uttarakhand in Sukhi Dhang, Uttarkashi. One person has been arrested in this connection so far.

The crackdown was carried in collaboration with the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), the agency which is assisting the forest departments of various states in controlling wildlife crime. On September 21, three poachers were arrested and a leopard skin was recovered from their possession in Rishikesh.

Last year, 180 leopards were poached across the country. The Union ministry of environment and forest, in one of the estimates released in 2008, said, "There are not more than 11,000 leopards left in the country." The figures are alarming against the backdrop that a leopard is listed under Schedule (I) of Wildlife (Protection) Act and is identified as critically endangered. But, so far its conservation has failed to garner as much attention as that of a tiger or a lion.


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 Mortality                 31
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