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May 7, 2021

IWMB to launch research report on leopards after Eid

 
May 7, 2021

Islamabad: The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) will launch a comprehensive study after Eid on leopard population living in the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP).

The study would provide details about total population of leopards, present status of their habitats, food requirements, conflicts with local people and internal and external threats.

According to the details, leopards sit at the top of the food chain and are considered the pride of the ecological system in the MHNP.

They usually meet their food requirements by hunting wild boars, monkeys, and barking deer. But when increasing human intervention forced animal species to leave the area for other destinations then it became difficult for them to ensure their survival in the Margalla Hills. So they started attacking domestic goats, dogs, and cows that led to their conflicts with the local communities.

The imposition of lockdown early last year decreased human intervention due to which the animal species including leopards started returning back to the Margalla Hills.

Various recent camera footages showed Shahzadi, a female leopard that is often called ‘Princess of Islamabad’, roaming in the wild and enjoying the natural habitat in the Margalla Hills. She is now a permanent resident of the territory between trails 4 and 6 and patrols the area especially in the evening time.

A previous research study conducted under the supervision of Dr. Ali Nawaz at Quaid-i-Azam University found out the facts behind the leopards’ attacks and provided safety guidelines for the local people living in the national park.

The IWMB informed that the leopards are nocturnal as they hunt at night and snooze during the day. People should not be on trails or in the forest inside the park at night time to avoid conflict with leopards. “The research report will cover all aspects related to the leopard population and also contain recommendations to promote this rare species in the Margalla Hills,” it said.