Manali: It was not only a big surprise but a matter of thrill for the locals and also the tourists when three snow leopards were sighted together near a village here.
According to a senior forest officials, the highly endangered snow leopard numbering three were spotted in village Komic by the locals and also the tourists who without wasting time captured the rare images in their respective cameras.
He said that the cold deserts of Spiti in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh is considered a safe and conducive habitat for breeding of this rare feline species. “Probably this alone is the reason why on some occasions, the locals and now the tourists have been lucky enough to have a glimpse of this beautiful animal,” said the forest official.
As per estimates of conservation organisations, the number of snow leopards in the wild in 12 countries of the world where they are found stood at around 7,000.
“It was for the first time that three snow leopards were spotted together and in all probability it was a mother with its two full grown cubs,” said an expert adding that snow leopards are solitary animals and as such only one individual is sighted generally.
The forest official said that a number of tourists visit Spiti valley to take a chance of spotting snow leopard, which otherwise is a rare sight.
Apart from ibex and blue sheep which are wild prey animals for snow leopards these carnivores also prey frequently on domestic livestock like goat and sheep of villagers. This also is the reason for snow leopard being sighted in vicinity of villages.
Tigress delivers four cubs in Pench Reserve
Bhopal: Certainly a development to rejoice as a tigress in Pench Tiger reserve has given birth to four cubs.
Pench Tiger Reserve has over 50 adult tigers
A senior forest officials said that it was the seventh litter of the tigress which is popularly known as “Collarwali” as it was a radio collared by authorities to monitor its movement in the reserve. “Till now, this tigress has given birth to 26 cubs in its seven litters and this is a record for a tigress in the wild of the state,” pointed out the official.
He said that a week back, the four cubs with the tigress were spotted by the forest guards on their routine patrol.
The Collorwali tigress in question is also called as ‘Queen of Pench’ and by some as ‘Pench princess’.
The forest official said that this tigress had given birth to 18 cubs between 2008 and 2013 and out of that 14 survived.
“Four cubs in a litter is rarity but but owing to genetics or chromosome configuration some tigress have more than two cubs and is normal but rare, ” said an expert.
He said that if prey is plentiful in the area where this type of phenomenon is observed, chances of survival of all the cubs born in the litter are very high.
It may be mentioned here that Pench Tiger Reserve has over 50 adult tigers.
Wildlife smugglers arrested, 23 red crowned roof turtle recovered
Agra: At least 23 rare species of red crowned roof turtle, popularly called `lal tilakdhari’, were recovered from international wildlife smugglers by a team of forest and police officials in a joint operation.
According to a senior forest official, in a joint operation by the forest department and the UP STF, success was achieved in nabbing wildlife smuggler Ajay Singh and his accomplice Deependra Singh. From the arrested wildlife smugglers 23 rare species of turtle, the red crowned roof turtle (Batagur kachuga) was recovered. The consignment was being transported to Chennai, said the forest official.
The forest official said that the critically endangered seized species of turtle is protected under Schedule (I) of the Indian Wildlife Act.
Though as per information, there had been regular inputs from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) about these turtles being smuggled in huge numbers but not a single turtle was seized in last five years but with the change of guard, the priority of the administration seems to have changed and the result is there for one and all to see, said a wildlife expert.
Sources in the police said that the arrested wildlife smuggler had been actively involved in poaching for at least five years. He had been poaching the turtles from Yamuna and Chambal and then from there transporting the turtle to Chennai and Bengal for selling them in international market to fetch lucrative price.
“This was confessed by the arrested poacher during interrogation,” said a police official.
He said that the seized variety of turtle (red crowned roof turtle) are normally sold at the rate of about Rs 4,000 per turtle and the same fetches a whooping sum of Rs 1.5 to 2 lakh in Thailand and Singapore.
The recovered turtles will be released in their natural habitat, said the forest official.