From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Leopard populations in India
Mains level : Tiger and leopard conservation: A success
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released the Status of Leopards Report.
Confused over Leopard and Cheetah?
The most common difference between these two animals is the patterns on their coat. At first glance, it may look like they both have spots, but in actual fact, a leopard has rosettes which are rose-like markings, and cheetahs have a solid round or oval spot shape.
- The Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) is a leopard subspecies widely distributed on the Indian subcontinent.
- It is one of the big cats occurring on the Indian subcontinent, apart from the Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, snow leopard and clouded leopard.
- It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because populations have declined following habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching for the illegal trade of skins and body parts.
Leopards in India
- India now has 12,852 leopards as compared to the previous estimate of 7910 conducted 2014.
- More than 60% increase in population has been recorded.
- The States of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra recorded the highest leopard estimates at 3,421, 1,783 and 1,690 respectively.
- India’s world record tiger survey also estimated the population of leopards and the tiger range was found a home to 12,852 (12,172-13,535) leopards.
- The increase in Tiger, Lion & Leopards numbers over the last few years is a testimony to the conservation efforts and of the fledgeling wildlife & biodiversity of the country.