First common leopard captured by WWF-Pak at Ayubia park

PESHAWAR: A team of World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) has successfully captured a male Common Leopard (Panthera pardus) in the vicinity of Ayubia National Park and fitted it with a satellite (GPS) collar to get scientific information on conservation of the wild cat facing extinction.
This is for the first time that a common leopard has been trapped and fitted with a radio collar with the objective of conducting advanced research on the wild specie both by WWF and Wildlife department of KP, says a press release issued here on Monday.
The trapped leopard was later released back into the wild after collecting necessary data and sampling.
The team successfully captured the animal on Sept 1 which was weighed, the morphometric details were collected and the satellite collar was fitted in addition to the DNA samples collection as well.
The entire process of radio collar fitting and other data collection was documented by the Walkabout Films Production Company who has already worked on the global wildlife projects including Planet Earth (the award winning BBC / Discovery series) and the Snow Leopard Beyond the Myth Filmed.
The common leopard-Panthera pardus, has been declared an endangered species under the Conservation and Assessment Management Plan (CAMP, 2004) conducted by IUCN in Pakistan.
It states, "this species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of endangered species."
WWF-Pakistan launched a project titled "Common leopard Conservation Project" in collaboration with Wildlife Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2011.
This project is also supported by human welfare and nature conservation society and it has also adopted a new approach by using science research alongside the awareness raising component about the importance of this endangered species through media.
The project includes awareness sessions for schools children's and local community about the leopard's ecological importance.
On the other side project is involved in collection of scientific data that includes scat analysis to identify the leopard prey base and its population in the area.
On the sidewise a documentary film is also in progress in collaboration with the walkabout films to create awareness through media.
The radio collared Common Leopard will be tracked by the project team for the next two years on the minimum to get scientific information related to the home range and the territorial behaviour to take measures for the long term conservation of this species in its historic natural habitat of Pakistan. - APP
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