Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Next-door leopards: First GPS-collar study reveals how leopards live with people

24.11.2014

Study says leopards stay surprisingly close to homes

  • Study says leopards stay surprisingly close to homes
  • Leopard home range around humans can be comparable to world's best protected areas
  • Article available from PLOS ONE

The research team attaches a GPS collar to a leopard.

Credit: www.projectwaghoba.in

In the first-ever GPS-based study of leopards in India, led by WCS and partners has delved into the secret lives of these big cats, and recorded their strategies to thrive in human-dominated areas.

The study concludes that leopards in human areas are not always 'stray' or 'conflict' animals but residents, potentially requiring policy makers to rethink India's leopard-management strategies.

The study was a collaboration of Vidya Athreya of WCS India (Wildlife Conservation Society), scientists from Norway (Morten Odden from Hedmark University College and John Linnell from Norwegian Institute for Nature Research), Sandeep Rattan of the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department, Maharashtra Forest Department and Asian Nature Conservation Foundation. Their findings were published recently in the journal PLOS ONE in the article "Adaptable Neighbours: Movement patterns of GPS-collared leopards in human-dominated landscapes in India."

Five leopards (two males and three females) perceived as "problem animals" and captured from human-dominated areas despite no predatory attack on people, were radio-collared for the study. Two were translocated and released more than 50 km (31 miles) away, while the remaining three were released near the site of capture.

The scientists monitored the animals' activities from the time of release, for up to a year, recording their behavior - including strategies they adopt to avoid direct contact with people.

The findings Immediately after release, the two translocated animals moved away 89 km (55 miles) and 45 km respectively (28 miles) from the release sites.

Said co-author Vidya Athreya of WCS India: "This indicated futility of translocation as a management strategy; this could have in fact, aggravated the conflict, as these animals passed through highly-human dominated (even industrial) areas," contended the scientists.

However, the animals applied tactics to avoid encountering people, despite dependence on their resources.

Firstly, the animals mostly moved at night, which timed perfectly with low human activity. They also spent more time closer to homes (<25 m [82 feet] in many location recordings) at night, than during the day.

"This gave them an access to people's livestock, and yet kept them safe from people," Athreya explained.

That these leopards were residents in these human-dominated areas was also confirmed by the study.

The two translocated animals occupied bigger home ranges (42 km [26 miles]and 65 km [40 miles] respectively), including one in the outskirts of Mumbai. The other three lived in areas with highest human densities, but occupied smallest home ranges (8-15 sq km) (3-5.7 square miles) ever recorded for leopards anywhere.

"The home ranges of the three animals are comparable to those in highly-productive protected areas with a very good prey density," said Athreya. "This indicated that food sources associated with humans [domestic animals] supported these leopards."

Moreover, two of the females even gave birth to cubs during the course of the study, confirming their residence.

Despite living in close proximity to humans and even being dependent on their resources, none of the leopards were involved in human deaths during capture or following release.

The authors stress that the presence of wild carnivores like leopards in human use landscapes in India need to be dealt with proactive mitigation measures.

The authors say there is a need for more studies on ecology of wildlife that share space with humans in India, so that better understanding can feed into better policy. Efforts should be put into preventing losses to people rather than react after losses have been incurred. The management policy should also work towards retaining the acceptance and tolerance of the local people.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world's oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: http://www.wcs.org ; http://www.facebook.com /TheWCS; http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia  Follow: @thewcs.

CONTACT: STEPHEN SAUTNER: (1-718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org
JOHN DELANEY: (1-718-220-3275; jdelaney@wcs.org)

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

nachricht 100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?
15.06.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>