SURATForest officials in Surat are planning to emulate the successful project implemented by the Maharashtra forest department to reduce the leopard-human conflict in Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Large number of leopards has moved out of forest areas and have made towns and villages in south Gujarat their homes, thus increasing the chances of conflict with humans.

According to Vidya Athreya, who is running the Project Waghoba in Mumbai, said that leopard density in south Gujarat and major parts of Maharashtra is higher than the dense forests of Aravalli mountain forests.

After Project Waghoba was implemented, there has been no loss of life of leopards or humans since 2007 in areas near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

V A Chaturvedi, chief conservator of forest (CCF), Valsad told TOI, “With the increasing population of humans and wild cats in the region, the conflict is not going to decrease. We need to take urgent steps to limit this before the problem becomes unmanageable.”

Till now, forest officials used to lay a trap and catch the leopards and then release it to the forest. Department officials confirm that in many cases the leopards that were caught and released in far away forests in the same area, returned near the urban habitat in few years’ time.

Read More:-http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/surat/Maha-model-to-curb-leopard-man-conflict/articleshow/14118726.cms

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