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Wild boars are top prey of Leopards in Goa

Wild boars, a species which the Goa government wants classified as 'vermin', are a major prey for leopards in Goa's wild as well as habitation fringe areas, a study conducted by the Goa Forest department and the Goa University's Zoology department has revealed. The study conducted in both protected forest areas as well as human dominated areas has also revealed that domesticated animals do not constitute a major part of leopards' diet, despite the increasing trend of leopards straying into inhabited areas over the last few years.

"It can be interpreted from our data that although leopards were reported close to human habitations throughout the year, their dependence on domestic animals was low," said the study by Bipin S. Phal Desai, Avelyno D'Costa, M.K. Praveen Kumar and S.K. Shyama.

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The book has in-depth information about understanding spotted cats' population. Pixabay

The leopard is the reigning rock star of the wildlife world. It’s a species that is obscure and largely overshadowed by the tiger, especially in India, scientist, conservationist, and author Sanjay Gubbi writes in “Leopard Diaries”. However, it is also a species that is loved by some and hated by many others. Nearly buried in this cacophony of conflict lies the “remarkable story” of this “lonely, mysterious creature” that he explores.

“Wildlife science hardly reaches anyone except those who are into serious academics. Furthermore, the common man or decision-makers do not understand the language jargon and the complicated statistical procedures of scientific papers. In addition, these papers are mostly behind the iron wall of paid subscriptions. In such a scenario we must reach and popularise wildlife conservation through popular media such as books and articles.

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Leopard attacks have been increasingly common in the Bijnor district and last year, a leopard had killed six persons. Unsplash

In a seemingly bizarre diktat, the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department officials have asked farmers in Bijnor and adjoining districts to beat drums, wear helmets and neck pads and take a dog along, while visiting the fields. This is expected to apparently save them from leopard attacks.

With barely a fortnight left before the sugarcane harvest season begins, farmers will be working in their fields in large numbers which makes them vulnerable to leopard and tiger attacks.

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