A photograph of rarely sighted Clouded Leopard by the Forest Department of West Bengal amazed people
A rare sighting of an ancient cat species, the clouded leopard, was shared by the forest department of West Bengal. The click was from the Buxa Tiger Reserve and posted by the forest department on the occasion of International Clouded Leopard Day on August 4.
Due to a decline in the population of the clouded leopard, it has been listed as vulnerable species by the IUCN. It is believed that there are only 10,000 living clouded leopards in the wild.
(Image posted on Facebook by Forest Department West Bengal)
"Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is a big cat species found in India. Its range is very limited; only in a few pockets of the dense forest has it been documented in the country. Buxa is one such place where you can find clouded leopards also. Camera traps have captured many pictures in recent times. Sharing one such clear camera trap picture captured recently from Buxa Tiger Reserve," the West Bengal Forest department said in the caption of the photo uploaded on Thursday.
The photograph of the clouded leopard was liked by many social media users along with Mr Parveen Kaswan, Indian Forest Services (IFS).
"Absolutely amazing," a Facebook user commented on the forest department's post. Others found the photo "fantastic".
These vulnerable species are said to be nocturnal and predators of small mammals. As a result of poaching and deforestation, their population witnessed a sharp decline in the second half of the 20th century.
The name of Buxa Tiger Reserve has been derived from Buxa fort. The reserve was established in 1983 and was recognized as a national park in 1992 with an area of 759 square kilometres. (According to West Bengal Tourism Department) The tiger reserve accommodates a collection of rare orchids and medicinal plants and is rich in biodiversity. Some parts of the Buxa hills (Sinchula range) are less explored due to their inaccessible terrain. Buxa Tiger Reserve also has the second highest generic mammal population in India.