The population of wet zone hill country leopards (Panthera Pardus Kotiya) has been increasing in large proportions, environmentalists say.
Environmental organisations pointed out that the increase in leopard population had resulted in the expansion of their roaming grounds posing a threat to humans.
A representative of Nuckles Ape Environmental Organisation Saminda Vidanage said that the death rate of hill country leopards had also increased due to the increase in their population.
“Most of them die in wire traps,” he said.
“Altogether 15 leopards in 2020, eight in 2021, and seven in 2022 had died due to human activities,” he said.
He said two leopards in the Nuwara Eliya and Bulathkohupitiya areas had died in wire traps late last year
The environmentalist said leopards that roam into human habitats to prey on dogs and other domestic animals are also being killed.
Environmentalist Vidanage pointed out that the roaming grounds of hill country leopards expanded over a vast range of jungles in Sri Pada forest reserve, Hatton, Navalapitiya, Ginigathena, Yaliyantota, Dolosbage, Dedugala, Ihalauduwa, Dampelgoda, Bagawanthalawa, Balangoda, Kotagala, Thalawakele, Bopatthalawa, Nuwara Eliya, Haggala, Pussellawa, Hewaheta, Delthota, Galaha, Peradeniya, and Gampola areas.
Even though there are about 800 leopards in the hill country jungles, formal statistics are not available to confirm it.
The hill country leopards identified as Panthara Padus Kotiya are also on the verge of extinction, he said. (Shantha Chandrasiri)
Jothisena Tuesday, 21 March 2023 05:12 PM
Human -Elephant conflict and now we also have Human -Leopard conflict?
Man Wednesday, 22 March 2023 01:18 PM
So, all alike must protect this treasure of immense value while looking after the concerns of residents, too..
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