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Occurrence of Common Leopard (Panthera pardus) in Abbaspur Area, District Poonch, Azad Jammu and Kashmir

Occurrence of Common Leopard (Panthera pardus) in Abbaspur Area, District Poonch, Azad Jammu and Kashmir

Nausheen Irshad1,*, Imran Yousaf1, Tariq Mahmood2 and Muhammad Saeed Awan1

1Department of Zoology, University of Poonch, Rawalakot, Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
2Department of Wildlife Management, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

*     Corresponding author: nausheen_irshad@yahoo.com

 

ABSTRACT
The common leopard (Panthera pardus) is facing serious threats in many parts of its habitat. There is general lack of formal studies on the species. A survey was conducted from June to December 2014 to document existence of the leopard in Abbaspur area, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Direct field observations (opportunistic survey) and indirect observations based on signs of the species were recorded. This was supplemented with information collected through questionnaire survey. Results confirmed the occurrence of leopard at six out of twelve sampling sites surveyed, in the form of evidences including pug marks, cave/ den, and dead bodies (two carcasses and one skin) of the animal. Moreover, three kill records of the animal in a short duration of six months are indicative of its illegal hunting for its skin or in self-defense. Therefore, immediate conservation measures are needed to protect the species. The other aspects of leopard ecology like habitat requirement, food and major threats are yet to be identified and addressed.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

June

Vol. 50, Iss. 3, Pages 799-1198

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