Return of Leopards to Arunachala Shows Successful Environmental Restoration


As recently reported, it seems that  leopards (or some other big cat. I really am not sure what kind) have returned to Arunachala. Now we have photos of paw prints taken on 9 October 2010.

Below is the best photo. These were taken two or three days after they were made. It rained the night of 6 October, 2010, and we went walking the next morning and noticed these prints. The soft soil after the rain made for good paw prints left behind.

Compare this with a diagram taken from the Internet:


Here are two prints, going one way, then the other. We think the animal came down from the hill, probably to drink from a nearby water tank, then went back up the hill.

Here is a map that shows where paw prints were seen:


We understand that the last time leopards were seen on Arunachala was about 1933. Since 1990, serious environmental restoration, in the form of tree planting, has  been going on around Arunachala. 20 years ago the mountains were bare. Now they are green, covered with trees in many places.  The leopard was the top predator. For the top predator to return means that the environment now supports all the animals lower on the food chain that leopards need to survive. Their return demonstrates the success of the tree replanting effort, and its beneficial effect on the wildlife and environment.

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3 Responses to “Return of Leopards to Arunachala Shows Successful Environmental Restoration”

  1. ab202012 Says:

    In Bhagavan’s ‘stories’ we hear of “tigers” drinking from temple tanks during his early days on the mountain. We also hear of Srimat Muruganar beating through “thick forests(??) of vines, creepers etc.” to find Bhagavan when he had gone off on a walk with Srimat Ganapati Muni or someone, leaving the former behind. [Perhaps Muruganar took a path through a ravine, or watercourse?]. We also hear of woodcutters and animal herders going up the mountain each day to ply their trades.

    Finally, we see old photographs of the late 30s and 40s that show a mountain quite a bit more barren and denuded of trees and vegetation than might be suspected to support “tigers”!

    I wonder what species of cats these “tigers” originally were? Leopards? Surely not the Bengal tigers, that would need much more food [and thus territory] than the semi-arid scrub forest could sustain? Bhagavan seems to refer to an abundance of medicinal and alchemical herbs and trees on the mountain, e.g. Keerai Patti, collecting greens and edible leaves from trees, suggesting a much greater variety of vegetation and intact tree cover than the 1930-40 photos show.

    Could someone say a little more about the nature of vegetation on the Holy Mountain and the changes over the years since Bhagavan arrived? Namaskar.

  2. drsundaram Says:

    nice and thrilling information.thanks mr richard for giving interesting news on arunachala.

  3. Darren Poke Says:

    Fantastic news, thanks for sharing it.

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