Melanistic Leopard Spotted in Maharashtra
#GS3 #Conservation #Endangered Species
Context: Recently, a rare Melanistic Leopard (commonly known as Black Panther) has been recorded in Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR) of Maharashtra.
About Black Panther:
- A black panther is the melanistic colour variant of the leopard (Panthera pardus) and the jaguar (Panthera onca).
- Black panthers of both species have excess black pigments, but their typical rosettes are also present.
- They have been documented mostly in tropical forests, with black leopards in Kenya, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Java, and black jaguars in Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Paraguay.
- Melanism is caused by a recessive allele in the leopard, and by a dominant allele in the jaguar.
- Protection Status:
- IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
- CITES: Appendix I.
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I.
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