India's Leopard Population Surges by 8% to 13,874

  • 01 Mar 2024

On 29th February, Union Environment Ministry announced that India witnessed a notable rise in leopard numbers, reaching 13,874.

Key Points

  • Regional Leopard Distribution: Madhya Pradesh reports the highest leopard count, followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
  • However, Uttarakhand records a decline due to poaching and human-wildlife conflict, contrasting with significant rises in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and West Bengal.
  • Habitat and Adaptability: Unlike tigers, leopards exhibit adaptability and inhabit diverse environments, including villages and cities.
  • Conservation Efforts: Around one-third of leopards reside within protected areas, highlighting the importance of conserving tiger reserves, which also serve as crucial leopard habitats.
  • Population Trends: While certain regions witness marginal growth, others face decline. Ramnagar forest division in Uttarakhand experiences a decrease, contrasting with increased numbers in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Survey Methodology: Extensive survey efforts, covering over 6,41,449 km and deploying camera traps at 32,803 locations, contribute to the comprehensive understanding of leopard populations.
  • Northeastern State Anomalies: Sharp rises in leopard numbers in northeastern states are attributed to sampling artifacts, indicating variations in survey methodologies over the years.