|Date||18 Jan 2016|
Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is a tropical antelope endemic to Indian subcontinent and listed as Near Threatened in IUCN red list category. Studies pertaining to blackbuck have majorly concentrated the protected areas or areas which are stronghold of the species. This biasedness towards protected areas has left major gaps in studies dealing with ecological as well as behavioral aspects of the species in relation to perpetual anthropogenic pressures outside the protected areas. The study will be conducted in various areas or potential sites of blackbuck presence all being located in Aligarh district in the western part of the Uttar Pradesh. It extends from 27° 29' N to 28° 11' N latitude and 77° 29' E to 78° 38' E longitude. The city is the middle portion of the Doab i.e. the land between the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers.
A very old study conducted in 1991 puts blackbuck numbers to be ~420 individuals for the Aligarh district (highest in the state). Since then, there has been no information about the status of blackbuck in the Aligarh district as well as the whole range of other districts. Moreover, everywhere in its distribution range in the state; the blackbuck populations found outside protected areas often fulfil their biological requirements by living in and around the agricultural fields therefore, conflicting interests are anticipated. The blackbuck-human interactions are of paramount importance as they often are negative in nature due to conflict leading to hostile attitude of humans towards wildlife. People’s perception about wildlife and conservation thus, becomes very important and their role in conservation cannot be ignored provided people are aware of the importance of the wildlife and natural resources around them. The proposed study aims to assess the distribution and abundance of the blackbuck in the district. It also aims to study activity behavior of the blackbuck as well as levels of conflict in the agriculture dominated landscape of Aligarh district. The results will help in developing mitigation measures and hence, better conservation of the species.
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