Haridwar: With the impetus being on the protection of tigers in India, the apathy displayed by the concerned authorities towards leopards (Guldar) in the Himalyan region has raised an alarming concern.  There has been a significant dip in the number of leopard – one of the five big cats found in the country.

The efforts to save the wild cat by Forest authorities and the other concerned departments have proved a damp squib. Owing to the dilly dally approach of the concerned authorities, there has been a considerable increase in leopard deaths with the each passing year.

According to the records of the Wildlife Institute, at least 610 leopards have been killed in the last decade.
While a large number of leopards are losing their lives in Uttarakhand, the Forest department seems to be completely ignorant about this issue. After the formation of the state, 610 leopards have died due to illegal hunting, poaching, accidents or natural deaths.

It is to be noted, 5 leopards were killed in 2000 but alarmingly, 54 leopards have already been died in 2011.

Rajendra Aggarwal, Uttarakhand Head of Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) informed, “Till now, 40 carcass of leopards have been found so far. Poaching of leopards is on the rise but the Forest department has not taken any substantial measure. “

He added, 2,335 leopards were marked in the state in 2008 but if the process is repeated, the numbers will reveal a shocking downfall.

DVS Khati, Chief Forest Conservator, Garhwal Zone said, “Extensive measures are being taken to protect leopards. Illegal hunting is a big menace which needs urgent attention.”

JPN/Bureau