Caracal: As the cheetah returns to India, researchers map out most suitable areas for its coursing counterpart

Source: The post is based on the article “Caracal: As the cheetah returns to India, researchers map out most suitable areas for its coursing counterpart” published in Down To Earth on 16th September 2022.

What is the News?

Caracal species is struggling to survive in India and is on the verge of extinction.A team of researchers have now mapped out the most suitable areas for the species to survive in India.

What is Caracal?

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Hunting purpose: The caracal was the only other feline apart from Cheetah which was used for hunting in India. 

– For instance, Firoz Shah Tughlaq had many Caracals in his hunting establishment and Akbar was very fond of using Caracal for hunting purposes.

Threats: Large-scale hunting, illegal trading and loss of natural habitats are considered significant threats to the species.

What are the most suitable areas for the caracal species to survive in India?

The most significant potential habitat for caracals is in Rajasthan, followed by Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

The large amounts of caracal suitable habitats in these states fell within protected areas thus providing an excellent opportunity for its conservation in the already existing management and conservation setup.

For instance, the protected areas which provided high conservation potential for caracals included 1) Kachchh Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) in Gujarat, 2) tiger reserves of Ranthambhore,  Mukundra hills and Sariska and the WLS of Kumbhalgarh, Mount Abu and Todgarh-Raoli in Rajasthan, and 3) Gandhi Sagar WLS in Madhya Pradesh.

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