Relevance: Ecosystem conservation via community participation.
Synopsis: Communities have long co-existed with leopards in Jhalana (Rajasthan) which is India’s first leopard reserve declared in 2016.
Benefits of leopard conservation
- Stray dog population is kept under check
- Forest acts as a temperature and pollutant sink
- Leopards scavenge carcasses of cattle that villagers would otherwise find difficult to dispose
- Human-wildlife conflict: Increase in leopard population along with decline in prey population could lead to human-wildlife conflict
- Accidental deaths: Forests cut off by state and national highways is leading to accidental deaths of leopards
- Inbreeding among the leopards
Developing viable animal corridors is the only solution to address all these issues.
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