Living with Leopards – Conflict or Coexistence?

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

Nayan Khanolkar first chanced upon Luna the leopardess in 2014 while monitoring the man-animal conflict in Mumbai. Back then she was an almost grown up leopard cub roaming in Aarey Colony with her mother. Over the years he and his team have trailed Luna and watched her become an adult, independent leopardess having grown and thrived in an urban landscape. She learnt and understood the human ways enough to manoeuvre around them.

She knew that where humans roamed during the … Read More

Engagement with Media Change the Way Human-wildlife Interactions are Reported

Vidya Athreya Announcements, Articles Leave a Comment

Mass media plays an important role in shaping public perception of human-wildlife interactions. In India, sensational and horrific imagery is often used to portray encounters between the two, even though most of them are neutral.

Media reports on human-leopard interactions are usually focussed on either attacks on people by leopards, or leopards being killed by people. The area in and around Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, India, is a leopard hotspot, and witnessed many leopard attacks on people in … Read More

Leopards in Crisis — Learnings for Uttarakhand

Ramki Sreenivasan Announcements, Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

Not a month goes by without newspaper reports about the attack by a leopard or a tiger on humans in Uttarakhand, followed by days of reporting of the hunt for the cat, and invariably, ending with the capture or death of the unfortunate animal. In December 2016, the Uttarakhand High Court passed an order that leopards and tigers that have been declared man-eaters should not be killed, but should, instead, be tranquilized and translocated to another forest. While the order … Read More

Lessons from Leopards — Uncovering the Real Conflicts in Sanjay Gandhi National Park

superadmin Announcements, Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

This article is condensed from ‘Cities, Towns, and the Places of Nature’ (A. Rademacher, K. Sivaramakrishnan ed., Hong Kong University Press, In Press). The study in question was conducted by Frédéric Landy, Professor of Geography, University Paris Ouest-Nanterre, France, in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SNGP) in Mumbai, and documents the dangerous and sometimes deadly presence of leopards in and around the park. It also focuses on the fact that leopards in Mumbai are not only a matter of human-nonhuman … Read More

Whose Forest is it Anyway?

leopardguy Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a gift to Mumbai. Often labelled as Mumbai city’s only green lungs, this is one of the very few protected areas in the world to fall within the limits of a metropolitan city. The forest also supplies a portion of the city’s fresh water through its lakes, Tulsi and Vihar.

However, Mumbai is mushrooming at a rapid, and its suburbs are ever increasing in size, as a lot of pressure is on them to fulfil … Read More

Q: I would like to understand why private vehicles are allowed in any sanctuary as it disturbs the ecosystem. One such example is Sanjay Gandhi National Park (Borivali, Mumbai). In such a densely populated concrete jungle we have such wonderful flora and fauna. Why is this getting ruined because the government is allowing private vehicles to access the sanctuary, where speed limit is not observed, people who use the park as their bar and litter the park with bottles and plastic? When we have strong NGOs in the city, why do we fail to stop these harmful activities? I would like to raise these concerns to the forest department but I am unaware of how to go about doing it, so would like CI to look into the matter and give me a solution on how I can give my inputs to conserve the amazing wildlife in my city.

superadmin Ask CI Leave a Comment

Answer from Debi Goenka, who heads Mumbai-based environmental NGO Conservation Action Trust (CAT):

Private vehicles are only allowed to ply from the main gate at Borivili to the Kanheri Caves, which are not part of the notified National Park. We have tried to get the forest dept. to introduce shuttle buses, but since these are not financially viable, the forest dept. is not interested.

Re alcohol, this is strictly prohibited, and complaints should be immediately made to the SGNP … Read More

Catalysing Awareness — How Mumbai’s Media Represents its Leopards

superadmin Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

The common leopard (Panthera pardus) is a highly adaptable species that is found throughout the country (and beyond) in a variety of habitats, from the pristine rainforests to human-modified and dominated landscapes. Despite its ability to survive on a wide range of prey species including the wild and the domestic, the leopard population is on a downward spiral owing to intense persecution and pressures of illegal wildlife trade.

Authors Saloni Bhatia, Vidya Athreya, Richard Grenyer and … Read More

Forest Fire at Nagla Block of SGNP, Mumbai

Saurabh Photos Leave a Comment

We witnessed a huge forest fire while doing some field work in the Nagla Block of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai, in March 2012. It took two of us more than an hour to create a fire line and beat the fire, preventing it from spreading further west. However we couldn’t do anything about the Southern side. Perhaps the fire had been raging since the night before. Around half a square kilometre of forest on the Eastern side had already … Read More

The Leopards of Mumbai

Vidya Athreya Articles, Featured Article 1 Comment

Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in the north of Mumbai seems to have always been associated with leopards attacking humans. However, a little delving into the patterns of attacks finds that conflict is a recent phenomenon. The attacks began around the nineties and took on its worst form in 2004, when in a single month in May, nineteen attacks on people were reported. Now again, post-2006, there have been no attacks on humans.

Recently the Forest Department of SGNP (headed … Read More

Living with Leopards in Mumbai

Vidya Athreya Resources, The Ready Reckoner, Toolkit Leave a Comment

Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) is said to be the lungs of Mumbai and provides the bustling metropolis with clean drinking water among other ecosystem services. Biologically rich, SGNP is often in the news as the site of conflict between people and wildlife, mainly leopards. The forest department of SGNP has taken a proactive step to help manage the park better, mitigate conflicts and engage with the interested citizens of Mumbai.

The Forest department has launched a project called ‘Mumbaikars … Read More