Sambar and Leopard Capture in Mangar Spotlight Aravalli’s Vital Role, Experts Assert

February 28, 2024 – In a thrilling revelation of Haryana’s biodiversity, a recent camera trap in the serene expanse of Mangar has captured a majestic Sambar, shedding light on the diverse wildlife thriving in this region. Beyond its known residents like leopards, hyenas, and Rusty-spotted Cats, the sighting of the Sambar underscores the ecological significance of Mangar’s forests.

Despite the absence of formal recognition as forests by the state, the forested areas of Mangar have emerged as crucial habitats for various wildlife species, as evidenced by Sunil Harsana’s camera trapping efforts. Harsana’s dedication, as part of the ‘Coexistence Consortium’ fellowship, has revealed a treasure trove of ecologically important species over the past few years.

Ecologists are particularly intrigued by the Sambar sighting, considering it a rare occurrence in the region. This sighting not only highlights the presence of vulnerable species like the Sambar but also emphasizes the importance of preserving and protecting their habitats. With the Sambar being classified as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List and facing decreasing numbers, its presence in Mangar underscores the urgent need for conservation efforts.

Chetan Agarwal, a seasoned expert on forests, emphasizes the significance of legal recognition and protection for the Aravalli forests adjacent to Asola Wildlife Sanctuary, where Mangar’s wildlife flourishes. Agarwal’s insights underscore the crucial role of legal frameworks in safeguarding biodiversity hotspots like Mangar.

Ghazala Shahabuddin, an esteemed ecologist and author, points out the delicate balance needed for the survival of wildlife populations. While the Sambar sighting is a promising sign of biodiversity, Shahabuddin highlights the importance of maintaining connectivity with the broader Aravalli landscape to ensure the viability of these populations.

However, amidst these conservation efforts, challenges loom large, particularly concerning land use changes and legal ambiguities. The Forest Conservation Amendment Act of 2023 seeks to address these issues by strengthening forest management and clarifying the applicability of conservation provisions. Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav’s recent remarks underscore the government’s commitment to aligning conservation policies with evolving ecological dynamics.

Yet, concerns persist regarding the interpretation and implementation of these legal measures, especially in areas like Mangar, where private interests intersect with conservation imperatives. The delicate balance between development and conservation remains a pressing issue, requiring careful deliberation and proactive measures to ensure the long-term sustainability of Haryana’s natural heritage.

In conclusion, the sighting of the Sambar in Mangar serves as a poignant reminder of the rich biodiversity hidden within Haryana’s landscapes. As efforts continue to unravel the mysteries of this ecological haven, it is imperative to forge ahead with concerted actions to conserve and protect these invaluable natural treasures for generations to come.

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