Expert Gives His Take on Leopard Sightings Across West Java Areas

15 August 2022 08:35 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Lately, there have been reports on sightings of the Javan leopard across a number of locations in West Java, which also consists of video evidence. Just a week ago in Pangalengan, Bandung Regency, a leopard with dominant black fur was recorded roaming a slope planted with vegetable crops.

Meanwhile, about two months ago, according to environmental activist Dedi Kurniawan, a group of wild boar hunters and their dogs met a leopard in Mount Kareumbi Buru Park. From the video footage, the leopard can be seen evading by climbing higher on a tree. Another report came from Gunung Sawal in Ciamis.

Dedi asked the West Java Natural Resources Conservation Center (BBKSDA) to handle possible conflicts between residents and leopards by means of patrols. So far, from reports received, leopards that enter residents' areas are always expelled. 

"The appreciation for the community needs to be increased through education, outreach, and joint patrols," he said, Friday, August 12.

The Javan leopard, with the Latin name of Panthera pardus melas, is a large cat that remained after the Javan tiger was declared extinct in the 1980s. The status of the leopard is now on the verge of extinction or critically endangered. According to a leopard researcher from the National Innovation Research Agency, Hendra Gunawan, there are many reasons that make leopards leave the forest and enter garden areas or settlements.

Based on the results of his research, the leopard's release from the forest does not depend on the dry or rainy season. To find out why, the first factors to ascertain are the sex, age, and behavior of the leopard outside the forest.

According to him, leopard cubs can reach up to four tails per birth, therefore, the population can continue to increase, while the habitat area is not, and tends to decrease.

 “We have to get used to live in coexistence with leopards.”

ANWAR SISWADI (CONTRIBUTOR)

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