If you have read Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book or seen the animated series, you are sure to remember Bagheera, the beloved friend and guide of mowgli. Now, you can catch bagheera for real, at the Dandeli-Anshi tiger reserve in Karnataka where camera traps have found the presence of the black leopard.
The black panther or the black leopard is not a different species. It is just a genetic variation of the common leopard. But whenever the leopard is spotted, it generates incredible interest among people and conservationists.
The camera trappings were carried out by the Centre for Wildlife Studies in partnership with the state forest department and the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
In Karnataka, the black leopards are fairly common at the Dandeli reserve.
‘In Karnataka, Dandeli- Anshi appears to be the hotspot for this melanistic form. There have been more than a 100 photo-captures of black leopards in the dense evergreen forests of this tiger reserve during camera trap surveys in the past three years,’ said Dr Ullas Karanth, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society of India (WCS).
Tiger monitoring in different reserves of India has been happening regularly. The camera trapping technique has aided the forest department in this task.
In Dandeli, currently the Phase IV of National Tiger Estimation is in progress under the guidance of Karanth. It was during this study that a family of leopard was spotted with two spotted leopards and one black leopard.
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