Starting this week, a team from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), along with a student from Wildlife Institute of India (WII), will kickstart a 45-day-long study involving camera traps to determine the leopard population at the park.
Cameras being set up to monitor the movement of leopards at SNGP
Mira Road-based Nikit Surve, 23, who is currently pursuing his Masters from the WII Dehradun, will help the park’s staff monitor the camera traps. The park has been divided into three blocks – (Manpada to Yeoor, Nagla to Borivli and Borivli to Aarey Milk Colony). Each block will have 15 camera traps to monitor the leopards’ movements.
“The main objective of this exercise is to acquire more accurate information about the population of leopards at SGNP. Camera traps will also help us get details about the movement pattern of the animals and the corridors they use most frequently,” said Surve. The images of the leopards’ right and left flanks will be used to identify individual leopards.
Surve also plans to do the scat analysis of leopards. The data obtained from this exercise will be matched with the leopard images gathered by the 2011 initiative, Mumbaikars for SGNP.
Mumbaikars for SGNP
In 2011, the Mumbaikars for SGNP project was launched in partnership with the forest department to understand the relationship between leopards and humans, mitigate conflict. As a part of the initiative, members set up camera traps at the SGNP and much pictorial data was drawn up.