BLACK PANTHER SPOTTED IN NAVEGAON-NAGZIRA TIGER RESERVE

BLACK PANTHER SPOTTED IN NAVEGAON-NAGZIRA TIGER RESERVE

  • Recently, a rare Melanistic Leopard (commonly known as Black Panther) has been recorded in Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR) of Maharashtra.
  • The animal known as a “panther” actually refers to 3 different types of big cats, leopards (Panthera pardus)or jaguars (Panthera onca) that have a black or white color mutation and a subspecies of the cougar (Puma concolor).
  • The “black panther” is a black jaguar of the Americas or a black leopard of Asia and Africa. In fact, the black panther actually has normal rosettes (spots), they are often just too hard to see because the animal’s fur is so dark.
  • Melanism is the name of the dark color pigmentation mutation in a jaguar or leopard that cause the fur to be blackish, it occurs in about 6% of the population.
  • The opposite of melanism is albinism which is an even rarer mutation that can occur in most animal species. The extremely rare “white panther” are albino leopards, jaguars or cougars.
  • Because the melanism gene is a dominant gene in jaguars, a black jaguar may produce either black or spotted cubs, while a pair of spotted jaguars can only have spotted cubs
  • Black panthers have good hearing, extremely good eyesight, and a strong jaw.
  • The black panther is often called ‘the ghost of the forest’. It is a smart, stealth-like attacker, its dark coat helps it hide and stalk prey very easily, especially at night.
  • In India, it is leopard which is named as black panther.
  • In India they can be spotted in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra etc.
  • Protection Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
    • CITES: Appendix I.
    • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I.

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