Leopards have been sighted in Delhi’s Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary for the first time since 1940.
• Eight leopards have been sighted in the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary.
• This is a sign of a booming ecosystem.
• According to the Gazetteer of Delhi, this sanctuary has not recorded sightings of leopards since the year 1940.
• In 2019, the Delhi forest department recorded a fresh presence of leopard pug marks and scats in the protected region.
• A survey was jointly conducted by the Delhi forest and wildlife department and the Bombay Natural History Society from June 2021 to June 2022 using infra-red stealth camera traps.
• Among the 8 leopards, 4 males and a female appeared before these cameras.
• This survey also provided insights about the presence and spatial distribution of mammals like jungle cat, Indian hare, black buck, striped hyena, Indian boar, sambar deer, hog deer, spotted deer and others.
• The new study reveals that leopards have made urban forest their permanent settlement.
• These big cats were found to roam the same tracks once and even twice. This suggests that leopards can coexist alongside human settlements without human-animal conflicts.
• The neighbouring Sanjay Colony is a human-dominated area. Leopards are found to visit the region despite this fact.
• Periphery of the sanctuary bordering Neeli Jheel and Chhatarpur region saw the maximum sightings of the leopards.
About Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary
Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at the border between Haryana and Delhi on the Aravalli hill range’s Southern Delhi Ridge. It spans across Southern Delhi and northern parts of Haryana’s Faridabad and Gurugram districts. It is part of the Northern Aravalli Leopard Wildlife Corridor, which starts from Rajasthan’s Sariska National Park, passes via Nuh, Faridabad and Gurugram districts and ends at the Delhi Ridge. The wildlife sanctuary holds the one of the last fragments of Delhi Ridge hill range and its semi-arid forest habitat as well as the fauna depending on it.