Avoiding leopard trouble

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2011:
NEW DELHI–Relocating leopards increases human/leopard
conflict, as the leopards try to find their way back to their home
ranges through unfamiliar habitat, while other leopards move into
the temporarily vacated territory, emphasize new Indian national
guidelines for preventing leopard trouble. Introduced in April 2011
by minister of state for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh, the
guidelines seek to reduce the rising death toll from avoidable
incidents among leopards, humans, and livestock.


Eighty leopards have been killed in Maharashtra state alone
since January 2010; 89 humans were killed by leopards in Uttarakhnad
state in 2007-2009.
The guidelines recommend that a leopard who has killed
livestock should be allowed to consume the dead animal. Chasing
leopards off their kills leaves them hungry– and increasingly likely
to perceive humans as rivals for possession of a carcass. Leopards
may then attack humans as they would attack wild predators and
scavengers.
The guidelines are based largely on the findings of Project
Waghoba, in western Maharashtra. Begun by the Junnar Forest
Department in 2007, the project cut the number of leopard attacks
on humans from 56 in 2000-2005 to 26 from 2006 to January 2011, even
though the numbers of leopards and humans sharing the habitat
reportedly increased.

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