India's leopard population rises to 13,874: report

by IANS |



New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav on Thursday released a report which said that the country's leopard population has risen to 13,874 (Range: 12,616 – 15,132) .


“Central India shows a stable or slightly growing population of leopards (2018: 8071, 2022: 8820), Shivalik hills and Gangetic plains experienced decline (2018: 1253, 2022: 1109),” said the report, titled ‘Status of Leopards’.


It said that if we look at the area which was sampled both in 2018 and 2022 across India, there is a 1.08 per cent per annum growth.


“In Shivalik hills and Gangetic plains, there is a -3.4 per cent decline per annum, while the largest growth rate was in Central India and Eastern Ghats of 1.5 per cent,” the report said.


Madhya Pradesh houses the largest population of leopards in the country -- 3907 (2018: 3421), followed by Maharashtra (2022: 1985; 2018: 1,690), Karnataka (2022: 1,879 ; 2018: 1,783) and Tamil Nadu (2022: 1,070; 2018: 868).


Tiger Reserves or sites with highest leopard population are, Nagarajunasagar Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh), followed by Panna (Madhya Pradesh), and Satpura (Madhya Pradesh).


The report said that the fifth cycle of leopard population estimation (2022) in India focused on forested habitats within 18 tiger states, covering four major tiger conservation landscapes.


This cycle conducted a foot survey spanning 6,41,449 km to estimate carnivore signs and prey abundance. Camera traps were strategically placed at 32,803 locations, resulting in a total of 4,70,81,881 photographs, resulting in 85,488 photo-captures of leopard.


The findings underscore the critical role of Protected Areas in conserving leopard populations.


‘Project Tiger's conservation legacy expands beyond tigers, evident in the leopard status report, showcasing broader species protection efforts.



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