Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai)

Biologist to document leopard movement at IIT-B campus


- Nikhil M Ghanekar

MUMBAI: Starting next week, wildlife biologist Kadambari Devarajan, who lives in the Indian Institute of Technology­bombay (IIT-B) campus, will document leopard movement on the site.

She will use camera traps and campus security for the process.

Worried by frequent leopard sightings on campus, IIT-B security had approached Devarajan for a solution. The researcher will also train campus security on leopards and their behaviour.

Another wildlife biologist, Dipti Humraskar, will help Devarajan. In the past, Humraskar has worked on leopard-human conflict awareness programmes under Mumbaikars for Sanjay Gandhi National Park project.

“IIT-B’S campus is vast and conducive for leopard movement In July, a leopard and a cub had entered the metallurgy workshop of Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay (IIT-B) with its green cover and several inhabited spots. I will install around 8-10 camera traps at spots where security guards often spot leopards,” said Devarajan.

The Mumbaikars for SGNP project, carried out by forest department, used camera traps to estimate the leopard population in the 108-square kilometre park.

Humraskar said as the IIT-B campus is home to several stray dogs, leopards frequent the college to feed on them.

“The security and campus residents need to understand that trapping leopards every time they are spotted is not an option, as they often come back to where they are trapped. Letting the animal follow its own path is the best option for campus security,” said Humraskar.

 ??  ?? Kadambari Devarajan setting up a camera trap at IIT-B campus.
Kadambari Devarajan setting up a camera trap at IIT-B campus.

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