Jackal in the City
A few days ago, a full grown jackal was found right in the heart of the city behind Regal Theater in Connaught Place. The animal was first thought to be a dog that had entrapped itself amidst the generator sets behind Regal. But a few onlookers soon realized that it was a jackal and quickly informed the police. The animal was finally rescued by the Delhi based NGO Wildlife SOS, which was called in by the police. It should be noted here that sometime around the beginning of this year, a pack of jackals that had made the Delhi Airport its home was caught by the same NGO as part of the plan to relocate wild animals roaming the airport premises.
The six jackals that were then caught were later released in the South-Central Ridge after being examined by a team of veterinary doctors. Apparently, either the jackals could never adapt to the ridge environment or the recent activities in and around the ridge may have forced them to move out. Lately, the South-Central Ridge has been disturbed in a number of ways. A major part of the ridge is under a continuous threat from real estate developers. Apart from this, the monkey population from within the South-Central Ridge is being shifted to the Asola Wildilfe Sanctuary further south. A steady increase in both the population of the city and the number of vehicles plying in the capital has further led to adverse impacts, especially on the fringes of the ridge. These factors could have well translated into the restlessness in the wildlife that the ridge supports.
Delhi Ridge is one of the two life supporting systems of the city (the other being river Yamuna) and its degradation will result in the loss of a great many ecosystem services that it provides to the citizens of Delhi. If we are to maintain and improve the quality of life in the city, we must address the issues that may adversely impact the ridge at the earliest.