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Increase in Human-Leopard Conflict: Study

  • 14 Oct 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

A study conducted across Karnataka indicates that the human-leopard policy guidelines have had little impact on the ground and it has not led to decrease in human-leopard conflict.

  • The guidelines for human-leopard conflict management were brought out by the Government of India in April 2011 to reduce conflict with leopards, discourage their translocation, and suggest improved ways of handling emergency conflict situations.

Key Points

  • Findings of The Study:
    • The number of leopards captured per month increased more than threefold (from 1.5 to 4.6) since 2011.
    • Similarly, there was a threefold increase in the number of leopards translocated per month (from 1 to 3.5).
      • Translocation is the managed movement of live indigenous plants or animals (taonga) from one location to another.
    • Reasons for capture and translocation of leopards (in order of prominence)
      • Livestock depredation (38.1%)
      • Leopards rescued from snares and wells (15.7%),
      • Anxiety caused owing to leopard sightings in human habitations (13.7%),
      • Leopards entering human dwellings (10.9%).
      • Human injuries (4.5%)
      • Human deaths (2%)
  • Other Related News
    • A recent study by TRAFFIC India on the seizure and mortality of ‘common leopards’ (Panthera pardus fusca) revealed that of the total of 747 leopard deaths between 2015-2019 in India, 596 were linked to illegal wildlife trade and activities related to poaching.
    • The Government of India launched the First National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment in 2019, to mark the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day (23rd October).
    • In 2014, a national census of leopards around tiger habitats was carried out in India except for the northeast. 7,910 individuals were estimated in surveyed areas and a national total of 12,000-14,000 estimated.

Common Leopard (Panthera pardus)

  • Habitat: It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in small parts of Western and Central Asia, on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia.
    • The Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) is a leopard widely distributed on the Indian subcontinent.
  • Threats: Habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching for the illegal trade of skins and body parts, and persecution due to conflict situations
  • Conservation Status:

Source: TH

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