Camera traps to be installed in Tanahun forest area

DAMAULI: Preparation is being made to install camera traps to study leopards in the forest area of Bhanu Municipality in Tanahun district.

According to Kedar Baral, chief of Division Forest Office, Tanahun, 36 cameras will be installed in the 1/1 kilometre grid in 4,000 hectares of forest area spanning from ward 1 to 9 of the municipality.

The cameras installed in every grid will try to capture wildlife movement in the forest, Baral said.

Attempts to place camera traps were made after 10 children lost their lives while six sustained injuries in leopard attacks in Bhanu Municipality. This would allow monitoring of the movement of leopards so that their attacks could be controlled, Chief Baral added.

The camera traps will be installed immediately after Gandaki Province allocates the budget. One camera trap alone costs around Rs 30,000 to 40,000, he further said.

The increase in the number of leopard in the area and decrease in their food source like deer, rabbit, fox likely caused the increase in the attack in human, informed Baral while claiming that there are approximately 20 leopards in the forest area of the municipality.

The study will help to ascertain whether the lack of food source had forced the leopard to enter the human settlement or there are other causes, informed Assistant Forest Officer, Kashi Raj Pandit.

According to wildlife experts, a leopard requires around four and half kilograms of meat daily.