Tuesday, May 28, 2013

FOREST FIRE, HABITAT LOSS: WILD CATS PERISHINGWednesday, 29 May 2013 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswa

FOREST FIRE, HABITAT LOSS: WILD CATS PERISHING

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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The decline in number of wild cats, locally known as Bhau Bilei, has worried many wildlife enthusiasts and environment lovers. The cat was a part of folklore and while villagers slept in the open, they often cautioned their children not to venture at night as wild cat would carry them away to forest. Bhau Bilei used to be very notorious, which was in the habit of taking away the villagers’ hens from their houses.
The wild cats lived in bushy forest almost near village areas and ate rats found in open fields and forests. However, the animal’s number has been declining rapidly.
Forest fire, habitat loss and rising temperature are believed to be responsible for the decline in wild cats. Most of the wild cats give birth to babies in January and April in bushy areas. While many cats and their babies are burnt to death in forest fire, rising temperature affects the cat’s mating process, which is another cause of its decline, forest official sources said.
“In my childhood days (three decades ago), it was common to find wild cats near the sugarcane field adjacent to my village. From there, they would move into houses and steal hens. Moreover, the forests were dense. A section of people would kill wild cats and consume its meat as it was believed that it contained medicinal properties which cured arthritis.
Regular poaching and loss of habitat resulted in further decline in the cat’s numbers in this region,” pointed out a villager.
With rapid loss of forest cover, changing life style, rising temperature, not only are the wild cats, but various other wild animals are perishing. So it is high time we took steps to save these animals.
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1 comment:

  1. Very Informative article. Bhua Bilei (in Odia) or Jungle Cat ( Felis chaus kutas) also locally named as Katas, are in the Catagory of Least Concerned (LC), but they are threatened in the countries like Thailand, They are critically threatened in Laos,Cambodia and Vietnam because there, inhabitants kill them for meat and skin.Recently, when I was holding the Charge of D.F.O. Karanjia, nabed few poachers who were killing Cevet, and Jungle cat for treating respiratory diseases.Presence of Jungle Cat in a forest shows the environment is good for other carnivores , these mammals are indicator species for good health of Jungle.I hope this article will show a way for habitat restoration in Balangir/ Subarnapur areas.

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