The worst news for nature lovers is the death of the big cats. Critically poised on brink of extinction the big cats are entirely at the mercy of the poachers, greedy and the developers. Habitat destruction and systemic hunting have been the major factors behind the endangerment of this species.
The leopards survive in wider habitats as compared to the tiger. They are more likely to be found near human habitations even those devoid of forests. The enormous ability to survive should auger a good future but this is not so leopards are being killed at rapid pace in India. They are the greater victim of man animal conflict than the elder cousin.
Recently two leopard were found in the vicinity of Barhi Forests near Bandhavgarh National Park. The dead bodies were found in a spate of few days. This does not augur well since the pattern is suggestive of organized poaching. Though the post mortem reports and viscera analysis drown in the length of the time this repeated tragedy is suggestive of poaching gangs operating in and around the verdant forests of Bandhavgarh National Park.
I have been visiting the Barhi Forests as a naturalist at Muchmucha Lodge since some time. The wildlife is impressive by all means though the forest face denudation near the villages in this area.
Most of the tragedies are taking place due to callous attitude of those in charge, while some may be involved in the nexus. There have been cases of electrocution of animals including the tiger in Central Indian Tiger Reserves. These have been happening since a number of years but no substantial solution is in the place. All this points to total disregard for our wild denizens and their habitats. Conserving wilderness in protected areas is not enough there should be concerted efforts to protect it irrespective of the status of land.