Black Panther Spotted in Navegaon

12 July 2021 Current Affairs:A rare Melanistic Leopard (also known as a Black Panther) has been discovered in Maharashtra’s Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR).

About Melanistic Leopard/Black Panther:
♦ Leopards (Panthera Pardus) have either light coloured (pale yellow to deep gold or tawny) rosettes or black fur.
♦ Black panthers are melanistic leopards that are all black or very dark in coloration. It is a colour variant of the spotted Indian leopard that has been reported from densely forested areas of south India.
♦ The black coat color is attributed to the expression of the recessive allele in the leopard and the dominant allele in the jaguar. In each species, a certain combination of alleles stimulates the production of greater amounts of melanin in animal’s skin and fur.
♦ It is as shy as a normal leopard and extremely difficult to spot.
♦ They are primarily found in southwestern China, Burma, Nepal, southern India, Indonesia, and the southernmost part of Malaysia.
♦ They can be found in India in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Maharashtra, among others.
♦ Threats include:  habitat loss, a collision with a vehicle, Diseases, Encroachment by humans, Poaching.

Protection Status:
♦ IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
♦ CITES: Appendix I.
♦ Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I.

About Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve:
♦ It is located in the Maharashtra districts of Gondia and Bhandara.
♦ The Tiger Reserve is strategically located in the heart of the central Indian Tiger landscape, which contributes nearly one-sixth of the country’s total tiger population.
♦ In December 2013, it was designated as India’s 46th Tiger Reserve.
♦ It includes the Navegaon National Park, the Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, the Navegaon Wildlife Sanctuary, the New Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Koka Wildlife Sanctuary.

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