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Black Panther Spotted in Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve

  • 07 Jul 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, a rare Melanistic Leopard (commonly known as Black Panther) has been recorded in Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR) of Maharashtra.

Key Points

  • Melanistic Leopard/Black Panther:
    • About:
      • Leopards (Panthera Pardus) are either light colored (pale yellow to deep gold or tawny) with black rosettes or with black fur.
      • The melanistic leopards, which are either all-black or very dark in coloration, are known as black panthers. It is a color variant of spotted Indian leopards, reported from densely forested areas of south India.
      • Black coat coloration is attributed to the expression of recessive alleles in leopards and dominant alleles in jaguars. In each species, a certain combination of alleles stimulates the production of large amounts of the dark pigment melanin (Melanism) in the animal’s fur and skin.
        • The appearance of a black coat may be influenced by other factors, such as the angle of incident light and the animal’s life stage.
      • It is as shy as a normal leopard and very difficult to detect.
    • Habitat:
      • They are mainly in Southwestern China, Burma, Nepal, Southern India, Indonesia, and the southern part of Malaysia.
      • In India they can be spotted in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra etc.
    • Threats:
      • Habitat loss.
      • Collision with vehicles.
      • Diseases.
      • Human encroachment.
      • Poaching.
    • Protection Status:
  • Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve:
    • About:
      • It is situated in Gondia and Bhandara districts of Maharashtra.
      • Strategically, the Tiger Reserve is located in the heart of central Indian Tiger landscape which contributes almost one sixth of the total tiger population of the country.
    • Formation:
      • It was designated as the 46th Tiger Reserve of India in December 2013.
      • It comprises the notified area of Navegaon National Park, Navegaon Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, New Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary and Koka Wildlife Sanctuary.
    • Connectivity:
      • NNTR has connectivity with the major tiger reserves in Central India like,
      • It is also connected to important tiger bearing areas like Umred-Karhandla sanctuary and Brahampuri Division (Maharashtra).
    • Flora:
      • The major forest type is "Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest".
      • Few thorny plants are also found and Bamboo occurs in abundance.
    • Fauna:
      • Carnivores such as leopards and smaller carnivores like wild dogs, wolf jackals, jungle cats and also the good population of sloth bears are seen.
      • Herbivore includes Cheetal, Sambar, Nilgai, Chousingha, Barking deer, Wild pig, Indian gaur and Mouse deer.
      • More than 300 species of birds have been reported from the area.
    • Other Protected Areas in Maharashtra:
      • Sahyadri Tiger Reserve.
      • Melghat Tiger reserve.
      • Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary.
      • Karnala Bird Sanctuary.
      • Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
      • Pench National Park.

Source: IE

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