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60 percent rise in Leopard population in India

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    22nd Dec, 2020


  • India now has 12,852 leopards as compared to the previous estimate of 7910 conducted 2014.

Conservation status of Leopard

  • The species is listed in:
    • Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
    • Appendix I of CITES
    • Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List

Habitat and distribution status

  • The States of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra recorded the highest leopard estimates at 3,421, 1,783 and 1,690 respectively.
  • The leopard is found in all forest types, from tropical rainforests to temperate deciduous and alpine coniferous forests.
  • It is also found in dry scrubs and grasslands, the only exception being desert and the mangroves of Sundarbans.
  • It shares its territory with the tiger in 17 states.
  • Its range stretches from the Indus river in the west, the Himalayas in the north, and all the way to the lower course of the Brahmaputra in the east.

What are the threats?

  • The biggest threats facing the common leopard in India are
    • increasing conflict with humans
    • poaching for illegal trade in body parts
    • loss of habitat
  • Leopards also die due to accidents on roads passing through and around protected areas.

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