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Biodiversity & Environment

Rise in Leopard Population

  • 22 Dec 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

As per a recent report ‘Status of leopards in India, 2018’ released by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change there has been a “60% increase in the population count of leopards in India from 2014 estimates’’.

Key Points

  • The 2014 estimates placed the population of leopards at nearly 8,000 which has increased to 12,852.
  • The largest number of leopards have been estimated in Madhya Pradesh (3,421) followed by Karnataka (1,783) and Maharashtra (1,690).
  • Region wise distribution:
    • Central India and Eastern Ghats have the highest number of leopards at 8,071.
    • Western Ghats: 3,387 leopards
    • Shivalik and Gangetic Plains: 1,253 leopards
    • Northeast hills: 141 leopards
  • While the estimated number of leopards has increased, the report alerts that the leopard habitat area has been shrinking alarmingly over the past 100-125 years.
  • Techniques Used:
  • Limited Coverage:
    • While the presence of the leopard is fairly ubiquitous, the study has been conducted only in tiger- populated forests areas under Project Tiger.
    • Leopard populations in other agricultural, non-forested areas like tea and coffee plantations, and in most parts of the North East have not been conducted.
  • Threats to Leopard:
    • Fragmentation of forests as well as the decline in quality of forests leading to habitat loss.
    • Human-Leopard conflict
    • Poaching
    • Depletion of natural prey base
  • Conservation Status:

Wildlife Institute of India

  • Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • It was established in 1982.
  • It is based in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
  • It offers training programs, academic courses, and advisory in wildlife research and management.

National Tiger Conservation Authority

  • National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
  • It was established in 2005 following the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force.
  • It was constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it.


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