Leopards in India face an 83% risk of extinction due to roadkill

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admin November 17, 2021
Updated 2021/11/17 at 7:33 AM

According to a recent worldwide research that assesses the damage presented by roads to the survival of animal populations throughout the globe, the leopard (Panthera pardus) faces an 83% increased risk of extinction in North India owing to roadkill. Global Ecology and Biogeography is the publication where the research was published.

North India’s leopard population is the most endangered of four animal species recognised as being most susceptible to extinction in the next 50 years if current roadkill levels continue. The maned wolf and the tiny spotted cat, both from Brazil, and the brown hyena from southern Africa are its closest competitors. The research indicates that the North Indian leopard population will be extinct in 33 years, based on an 83 percent increased risk.

In South India, the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) and sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) have both been determined to be severely endangered.

The researchers calculated population density, roadkill rates, sexual maturity age, litter size, and other factors using existing roadkill data for 392 mammal species across six continents. The research region for the North Indian leopard population included Uttarakhand’s Rajaji National Park and the Haridwar Conservation Area in Uttarakhand. According to the study, if at least 20% of the population has been killed by roadkill, the chance of local extinction increases by 10%.

“The findings of this research have global significance for animal conservation and traffic mitigation.” “Our findings highlight Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia as sites where roads might result in mammalian biodiversity loss, and hence areas where future road construction and mitigation must be carefully addressed,” the report states.

Although the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognises roadkill as a concern to ten mammalian species, the study adds that they were not among the species identified to be most vulnerable.

 

Source: The Indian Express

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