Tripura: The endangered clouded leopard has got a new lease of life in the Sipahijala Sanctuary, the only national breeding centre in the country which registers at least two births annually of the species.
"The sanctuary is the only conservation breeding project for clouded leopards, where the population of the animal has risen to eight. Of them three are male, four female and one cub", Krishna Gopal Roy, Director of the Zoo in the sanctuary said.
Altogether there are 14 clouded leopards including those born in the captive breeding center. Only seven such leopards were sighted in the wild in the sanctuary during last year's census.
Named after the cloud-like spots on its coat to provide camouflage in its forest habitat, there are 20 in Tripura, according to the census report of the Forest Department.
Migratory birds including lesser whistling teals, pintails and darter have arrived in the Sepahijala Sanctuary in the first week of November, Wildlife warden of the sanctuary, Amit Debbarma said.
"Last year slightly more than 26000 lesser whistling teals came to the sanctuary. It seems the number is more than last year even as the fowl census is yet to be conducted this year. Besides birds like pintail and Darter were also seen in the sanctuary," Wildlife Warden of the Sanctuary, Amit Debbarma told PTI.
Last year only 86 pintails and eight darters were seen in the sanctuary, Debbarma said, adding this time the number would be almost the same.
The pintail (Anas acuta) is a duck with wide geographic distribution that breeds in the northern areas of Europe, Asia and North America.
The darters or snakebirds are mainly tropical waterbirds. There are four living species, three of which are very common and widespread while the fourth is rarer and classified as near-threatened by the IUCN.
The term "snakebird" refers to their long thin neck, which has a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged, or when mated pairs twist it during their bonding displays.
Located at a distance of 35 km from Agartala, the sanctuary covers an area of 18.53 sq km. It is home to a large number of wildlife species, particularly birds and primates.
A visitor can sight more than 150 species of residential birds, migratory birds, orchid gardens, boating facilities and a ride on toy train.