Increase in Leopard cat deaths a serious concern, Tamil Nadu
Increase in Leopard cat deaths a serious concern, Tamil Nadu

Wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists with the increasing death of critically endangered leopard cats in Mudumalai tiger reserve are expressing serious concern over its existence. The wildlife sources say as many as five leopard cats have died in the past year and most of the deaths were due to the unregulated traffic movement leading to road kills. “Leopard cats are highly endangered animals when compared to tigers and the last death case was reported on Friday at Kothagiri forest division, but there are no scientific investigations done to stop their deaths,” worried a forest department insider.

“Road kills of wild animals are becoming common in Nilgiris and twice I have sighted leopard cats only as carcass. Sighting these nocturnal animals are rare and hardly you can see their live videos and photos,” said wildlife activist K Mohanraj blaming the local foresters for not protecting the small mammals. “Speed regulation of vehicles is must and the number of warning signboards should be increased. At this rate of road kills, the population of leopard cats will locally be wiped out from Nilgiris,” he said.

Species like Leopard cats, Mouse deer and Niligir Martin are extremely affected for habitat degradation and there is no proper census data available on these animal. Through effective wildlife corridor surveillance forest officials can minimise road kills of these fewer known animals, opined scientist A Kumaraguru of Sathymangakam Tiger Conservation Foundation.

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