How many leopards are there in Mumbai? Headcount begins in SGNP

Through the camera trapping exercise, park authorities want to study the population and movements of leopards there
Through the camera trapping exercise, park authorities want to study the population and movements of leopards there

It's lights, camera, action for the leopards at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), as park authorities have started a headcount of the big cats there through camera trapping. The last survey was done in 2014-15, which reported 35 leopards in the region.

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The camera trapping exercise began last evening and will go on for around 40-50 days.

Wildlife Researcher Nikit Surve from the Wildlife Conservation Society-India programme, said, "We want to monitor the density of leopards in SGNP and neighbouring areas. Based on the camera trap data, we will study the unique rosette pattern of each leopard, which will help us identify each cat and track its movements."

50 cameras The researchers will install a total of 50 camera traps in all.

Each set-up comprises two cameras installed opposite each other, emitting an invisible beam that is broken when an animal walks past, triggering the shutters. This also ensures that both the left and right profile of the leopard is captured.

The park and its adjoining areas have been divided into two parts, and the cameras will be installed in each part for 20 days – first in the Yeoor range and then in the Ghobunder-Powai stretch. The researchers will also install camera traps in Aarey Milk Colony.

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