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Leopard (Panthera pardus)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 150511693

Mitigating threats to leopards in the Machiara region by involving local people in leopard conservation and livestock protection activities

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 150511693) - Leopard - Awarded $5,000 on April 01, 2016

I am working on large carnivore species of Pakistan. I have been involved in research based conservation activities.

Target Species:

Our target species is Common leopard (Panthera pardus) also known as Guldar or Sheen in the area. 

Study Area:

The Machiara region is located in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, an autonomous division in northern Pakistan. The forests of the region are known for their rich wildlife diversity, and were preserved as a hunting reserve for the Maharaja of Kashmir already before the division of the State of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947. In 1996, the Machiara Wildlife Sanctuary was upgraded to a National Park covering an area of 135.32 km2 and ranging in altitude between 1,350 and 5,000 m. This rugged terrain is recognized as a Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspot. 

Background of the Project:

Leopard is the top predator of the Machiara region and plays a vital role in maintaining the ecosystem by regulating the prey species of the area. Several research studies have been conducted to determine human-leopard conflict and perception of local community towards the conservation of leopard in MNP (Dar et al., 2009; Kabir et al., 2014). These researchers highly recommended an awareness program for local communities, in particular hunters and shepherds, to stimulate positive attitudes in local communities towards leopard conservation and active participation of local people in conservation activities.

Mission and Objectives:

The aim of this project is to raise awareness of the importance and role of leopard and carnivore to biodiversity conservation, stimulate positive attitudes in local communities about leopard and provide necessary management tools to inform and impart knowledge, particularly to local communities, as well as to enhance indigenous and traditional knowledge that is useful for the conservation of leopard. More efforts will be made to know the basic factors developing negative attitudes among the community about carnivores. Through education, local people will gain an increased knowledge about the nature and ecology of leopard; how the food web and ecosystem interact and how the predators are crucial for balancing and regulation of ecosystem. Successful and unproductive strategies will be examined and indigenous knowledge will be inculcated to develop a conservation strategy for coexistence of people and carnivores. 

 

Project document