India’s leopard population is estimated at 13,874, with growth of 1.08 % per annum


New Delhi: India’s leopard population is estimated at 13,874, as per the new report launched by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav on Thursday.

The report considered the population of leopard as “stable” in comparison to the similar area being sampled in 2018 with 12852 individuals.

The survey was conducted across 70% of leopards’ habitat, having excluded the Himalayas and semi-arid parts of the country.

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).

If we look at the area which was sampled both in 2018 and 2022 across India, there is a 1.08% per annum growth, said the report.

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

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).

Picture courtesy: MoEF&CC

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. 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.

Speaking, while releasing the report, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said, “Project Tiger’s conservation legacy expands beyond tigers, evident in the leopard status report, showcasing broader species protection efforts.

“The report emphasizes conservation commitment beyond protected areas, lauding the Forest Department’s dedicated efforts. Project Tiger’s inclusive approach underscores ecosystem inter-connectedness and diverse species conservation” he added.


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