BNP team catches leopard that killed 40 blackbucks


Feb 25, 2018-A leopard which is believed to have killed more than three dozen blackbucks at the Blackbuck Conservation Area (BCA) in Gulariya-2 has been finally trapped. 

A technical team from the Bardiya National Park (BNP) trapped the leopard on the premises of the BCA in Khairapur area on Wednesday. The wild beast was later released in the park forest area. 

According to the BCA, 40 blackbucks were killed by leopard/s in the conservation area in the past seven months. Conservation Officer Purushottam Sharma suspected that all the blackbucks might have been killed by the same leopard that was trapped. 

The government had set up the BCA at Khairapur area of Gulariya in 2009 with an objective to protect the endangered blackbucks (Antilope cervicapra), locally known as Krishnasar. 

The blackbuck conservation has been threatened with the steady decline in the number of the protected animal. Fifty-five blackbucks have been either killed and died of natural causes since mid-April 2017.

Conservationists point out leopard attack as the main reason behind the decline in blackbuck population. The BCA authority said leopards from forests in Tulsipur and Bechaipur have been known to enter the conservation area in search of prey. 

According to the officials, there are three other leopards in the neighbouring community forests. The BNP authority is planning to trap them and keep them in the park forest.

The BCA data suggests that 50-70 blacks are killed in the conservation area every year. However, no concrete initiatives have been taken so far to check the killing of the endangered animal. 

Sharma admitted that despite BCA efforts, including night patrolling in the area, there has been  little success in checking the killings. 

At present, there are 191 blackbucks in the BCA, including 131 females. The blackbuck population stood at 245 until last year.

Published: 25-02-2018 07:52

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