Tuesday, June 1, 2010

THE LEOPARD | PANTHER | Panthera pardus

Leopards are found in the forests of Kerala and in the outskirts of villages. Occasionally strays to the home steads and preys on cattle also. Is Kerala, it is frequently sighted in Wayanad, Parambikulam and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuaries

Scientific name : Panthera pardus

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. pardus
Binomial name: Panthera pardus

Local names : Pulli puli,Puli, Nari.

Habitat : Evergreen, moist deciduous and dry deciduous forests.

Distribution : Distributed all over Kerala.

Indirect evidences : Pug marks, scats, kills and claw marks on trees.

Scats : Scat will be at a point in single piles. Blackish grey in colour. The colour will turn into white, when exposed to sun . Smells heavily and hairs and bones of prey species are seen in the scats. Difficult to distinguish from a tiger scat unless confirmed by the pug marks nearby. About 8 mm to 11 mm in diameter.

Pugmarks : Smaller than that of tiger.

Size: Length may vary from 6 cm to 10 cm and breadth from 5 cm to 9 cm . Width of paw will be around 4 cm to 6 cm.

Kills : After feeding , the remains of the prey are kept on tree tops. Prey animals include arboreal animals also. Often prey on dogs when they come near villages, a unique behavior which is not found in tigers.

Claw marks : Very rare but can be noticed on the bark of trees.
Where to look for the indirect evidences: Same as that of tiger.

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