Turner Classic Movies  is again broadcasting all of the classic Toho films in June like it much did last year.
Daikaiju featured on this site and other content are copyright and trademark to their respective owners. Bangalore, a southern Indian city, has become synonymous with information technology and is one of a few metropolis in the world that hosts large wild mammals such as elephants, leopards, sloth bears and even tigers within a distance of a few kilometers from the center of the city. Part of the city outskirts, where rural life continues to linger despite the contrasting glitzy city reports, livestock lifting by leopards are common.
Concerned about the leopard conflict and captures, I started monitoring the presence of leopards and conflict incidences around the country’s IT capital. A government institute that experimented on fodder seeds in northwestern part of the city invited us to document the presence of leopards on their campus as some security personnel reported sighting a large cat.
However, I wonder how long these animals would survive on the borders of this ever-growing city. Apart from developing scientific information and database of the leopards around the city, we reached out to the local population.
There seems to be better acceptability among people whose livelihoods does not depend on farming or livestock.
Bangalore is an excellent example for the changing ecological, social and economic landscapes of the country, demonstrating the altering fate of some of the wildlife species. Loss and conversion of leopards’ natural habitat seem to be an important driver for this spotted cat to move to sub-optimal habitats.
It was not very smart for sanjay gubbi to dress in formal shoes and nylon office pants and take a tripod and binoculars to observe the VIbgyor school leopard.
As a bangalorean, I have some across the articles on leopards coming in contact with the urban populace, more so with the growing city boundary.
Vidya, I’m not sure if I agree with all that Shankar says, but I do remember reading your comments on the Mysore leopard death.
Infact the most acclaimed data from radio collaring of Vidya Athreya (which formed the basis of the federal government guidelines) was not published in peer-reviewed journals until November 2014 (four and half years after the guidelines were published).
Vidya’s claims about her work leading to halting of conflict, capture and translocation of leopards in Junnar, Maharashtra is also not based on any scientific evidence.
Vidya Athreya has won several awards for claiming to have stopped conflict and capture of leopards but all of it has no scientific basis. As far as I read nowhere in the blog it states the leopards needs “pristine” habitats as claimed by Vidya Athreya. Though the claim of large densities of leopards in rural, semi-urban areas is true, the study clearly hides the fact that this study was conducted in sugarcane fields that were surrounded by leopards’ natural habitats. I have followed Vidya Athreya’s studies and her comments on various writings from other leopard researchers.
It is high time that these “celebrity” big cat researchers should put aside their egos and relent to the fact that this country provides both legal and constitutional rights for other people to work on wildlife. What are “natural habitats” for a cougar (using urban landscapes in LA) or a bear (denning under houses) or a wolf (denning in an agricultural landscape in Europe) or a coyote (using urban landscapes in the US) or the leopard? The definition of a urban leopard is not one who lives in a high rise or in a drain and a look at Gehrts book would do one good as it defines and talks about the ecology of urban carnivores the world over.
The article talks about the different ways in which different people view the leopards and this is a well known fact among social scientist who study these issues. We'll look for answers and post them here, along with regular updates about the science and conservation status of felids.
National Geographic supports scientific research of lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, and other big cats with a view to finding viable ways to protect them in their natural habitat. Death is always near, and teamwork is essential on the Serengeti—even for a magnificent, dark-maned male known as C-Boy. Go behind the scenes of recent National Geographic coverage of some of the world's top predators. Pacific Storm stood out: a working boat, black hulled, a West Coast trawler in a previous life, reborn now as a research vessel. Occasionally, the residents of apartment complexes in the southern side of the city report leopard sightings.
From time to time we camera-trapped the areas where there were requests from local residents who were afraid of leopards lurking in their area and the government.
Many times when we install these automatically triggered photo-documenting devices, leopards were captured walking past our camera traps. The institute cultivated maize and other similar tall standing crops, and leopards revealed their presence in these fields but disappeared as soon as the crops were harvested.

Leopards are found from the northwest to the southern side of the city in a semi-circular form following the presence of rocky outcrops or forest patches. The animal could possibly go extinct locally or survive if there would be continuity to other natural habitats.
We regularly carry out outreach activities to bring awareness about leopards and ways to respond to leopards sightings in the vicinity. A comprehensive plan where leopard habitats that occur adjoining to cities and towns need to be drawn for long-term leopard preservation in the country, which is one of the strongholds of these spotted feline in the world.
And is there some irony in a man who went hammer and tongs at India’s leading leopard biologist getting mauled by a leopard himself? Unfortunately, this unseemly (but admittedly entertaining) spat in the comments has eclipsed the piece itself. And you appear to have really gone into a lot of detail to pick out fiction out of the facts. It is interesting to see Vidya Athreya talking about ‘claims not supported by peer reviewed scientific data’. Not a single scientific literature shows the reduction in conflict or leopard captures and translocation. The autocratic and arrogant attitudes of these researchers should be curbed and the world is already realizing the ulterior motives of these ‘me alone researchers’. Large, reproducing leopard populations now are occur at densities as high as 4 or more per 100 sq.km  in many rural and semi-urban areas across India, as mentioned in a well-researched popular article in National Geographic Magazine itself in December.
This is only reinforcing the age old notion of “pristine wild landscapes” while we have predators which show that they are extremely adaptable and if they were not, they would go extinct! But the fact that urban people are more accepting could also be because there have been no human attacks on urban people while rural people have been attacked by leopards in Karnataka which is well picked up in the news. New methods and ways to make bangalore safe balancing with the population of leopards are a must. There are 38 species of felids, ranging from the seven-pound tabby in your lap to 500-pound Siberian tigers—with cheetahs, leopards, ocelots, and other striped and spotted cats in between. We'll also share National Geographic articles, videos, and behind-the-scenes features and keep you up to date on our Big Cats Initiative work to help big cats hang on in the wild.
Bloggers and commenters are required to observe National Geographic's community rules and other terms of service. Combining the resources of National Geographic and the Cincinnati Zoo, and drawing on the skills of an incredible crew, we documented these amazing cats in a way that’s never been done before. You can check the Turner Classic Movies website for the complete schedule of next month’s lineup. There were bigger, more opulent boats in the harbor—fortunes are invested in the white yachts of Acapulco—but this 85-foot trawler, with its grim mien and high black bow, was the ship for me. When such incidents are reported, the response is a demand to relocate (translocation) the leopards.
For instance, leopards will continue to exist in Bannerghatta National Park (100 square miles) that adjoins the southern side of Bangalore city, despite the land around Bannerghatta  becoming highly urbanized. Educated professionals, who are not economically dependent on land or animal husbandry, who prefer to reside in areas that have a mix of natural leopard habitats and agricultural landscape. For instance, a school campus is partially used by leopards that has natural forests in it and abuts a multiple use forest patch.
Around Bangalore, they have disappeared from areas where these large cats were reported as recently as in the past five years. As a Mysoreian I was very well aware of the incident of leopard death in the outskirts of town and the subsequent FB posts.
The management guidelines were by the forest department for the use of RFO’s and we worked with the FD to issue those. Vidya Athreya authored the guidelines issued by the Indian federal government regarding human-leopard conflict in April 2011. In fact even a National Geographic article written by experts comment on leopards living adjoining Mumbai “critically, all these populations could not survive without protected enclaves of natural habitat and prey in the human landscape; the Mumbai leopards would rapidly vanish without the park in the middle of the city, for example. The presence of natural leopard habitats and the effect it can have on leopard numbers cannot be ignored. All claims made by Vidya Athreya are scientific (even if they are not) and all work done by everyone else is crap and unscientific. The scientific and conservation world should come together to condemn this autocratic, arrogant attitudes of these few individuals who bring disrepute to the field of wildlife science. Asked to choose, from all this fleet, the vessel to carry me on a month-long cruise in pursuit of blue whales, I would not have hesitated.

In the past five years the forest department, due to various pressures, has captured six leopards from the city outskirts, relocating four of them to various other locations. Leopards survive in areas where there is a mosaic of natural forests, rocky outcrops and sub-optimal habitats such as maize fields that provide temporary cover for the animal to move between natural habitats.
Many villages and forest patches around the city have now been merged into the city limits.
The northern and western edges of the national park are already ensconced in a sea of development. Retired professionals, security personnel, space research scientists, central security force personnel, students, construction workers, villagers, farmers the list goes on.
Secondly, the communities who reside in similar ecological landscapes but whose lifestyles are largely rural in nature, and continue to depend upon farming and livestock for livelihoods. The alternative school administration were happy to co-exist with their spotted cats but still wanted to take necessary steps that did not make them legally liable if something went wrong. We will perhaps see more of such scenarios in the country where leopards lose out to the expanding urbanization. Disagreement is okay, but a slightly more proportionate response would have perhaps been in order?
These guidelines have nationwide ramifications, however nothing in this guideline was based on any peer-reviewed scientific data. It is noteworthy to see that Vidya’s own data being published by someone else several years after the data was collected.
However, it is interesting to see a facebook post made by Vidya Athreya regarding the death of a leopard near Mysore, Karnataka, India on 13th September 2014.
As Flip Nicklin and I passed our gear up the trawler’s ladder and stowed it in our cabin, I felt an almost savage contentment.
They are certainly not living like bandicoots that hide in the midst of high-rise buildings inside drains and culverts during the day and venture out eking food at night. Forest areas have primarily made way for industries, housing complexes, and other developmental activities.
So, the leopards that live inside Bannerghatta could venture into urbanized areas due to easy access of domestic food sources, including dogs.
Hence, our outreach activities had to be in the local language Kannada, the national language Hindi, and English, tailored to suit the diversity within the communities of the city.
At the outset, other cities near Bangalore such as Mysore, Tumkur, Chitradurga are all candidates where this scenario could repeat due to expanding urbanization and loss of leopard habitats. She observed (rightly or wrongly) that some facts here were not supported by peer reviewed research, and got a scathing rebuttal questioning her scientific credentials!
After gubbi’s research and latest data that a tiger has more than 300SqKM as a home range, the theory of 10sqkm is ridiculous. We are, even today working with the forest department to reduce the pressure which even they want to reduce.
In 2007 Vidya Athreya had brought out another guidelines for Maharashtra state, which was again not based on any scientific peer-reviewed literature. In fact many journals wouldn’t even accept manuscripts that had data that was over five years old. Here Vidya Athreya ridiculed that the leopard died on a tree ‘as it hung itself on a tree by its back legs’. In some locations, young school children walked by displaying their playful performances for the cameras, and a few hours later the stealthy predator would imperceptibly appear as the human activities drew to a close. However, communities that were dependent on agriculture and livestock farming did not want leopards in their vicinity. In fact Vidya Athreya had not published even a single data driven, peer-reviewed scientific literature on leopards at this point of time. It was clear that Vidya Athreya was indicating that the radio collar on the leopard was the cause of the death. Odden was the first author becuase he was an official collaboration as part of a CES NINA project of which the collaring was a part and he contributed more to the analysis and paper writing than I could having my PhD to finish (the collaring work was not part of my PhD thesis). Later, the necropsy report by Animal Disease Diagnostic and Information Centre Laboratory concluded that the leopard had died due to Zinc phosphide poison.

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