Insights into India Leopard Population- A Comprehensive Report

Leopard - Insights into India Leopard Population - A Comprehensive Report
 Insights into India Leopard Population-  A Comprehensive Report

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) have recently unveiled a comprehensive report shedding light on the status of leopards in India. This report, based on the fifth cycle of leopard population estimation conducted in 2022, offers invaluable insights into leopard distribution, population trends, and the challenges faced in their conservation efforts.

Survey Methodology:

The leopard census, conducted alongside the quadrennial survey monitoring tigers, co-predators, prey, and habitats, employed rigorous scientific methodologies. Field teams traversed vast distances, covering 18 tiger states and major tiger conservation landscapes, walking over 641,000 km of trails. Utilizing camera traps at strategic locations, the survey amassed an impressive 85,488 leopard photo-captures from nearly 471 million photographs. These methodologies, integrating habitat evaluation, camera trapping, and population modeling, ensured a robust estimation process.

Key Findings:

The report unveils India's leopard population, estimated at 13,874 individuals, indicating a stable trend compared to the 2018 figures. Madhya Pradesh emerges as the stronghold for leopards, boasting the highest population, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka. Notably, protected areas and tiger reserves like Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve, Panna Tiger Reserve, and Satpura Tiger Reserve exhibit high leopard densities.

Population Trends:

While the national leopard population remains stable, regional variations are evident. Central India and Eastern Ghats show modest growth rates, whereas the Shivalik-Gangetic landscape witnesses a concerning annual decline. Despite a marginal growth rate in sampled areas between 2018 and 2022, significant portions of leopard habitats remain unsurveyed, necessitating expanded monitoring efforts.

Conservation Challenges:

The report highlights escalating human-leopard conflicts as a major conservation and social concern. Habitat fragmentation, poaching, prey depletion, retaliatory killings, and illegal wildlife trade further threaten leopard populations. Addressing these challenges demands a multifaceted approach, including government-community partnerships, enhanced reserve management, and the institution of rapid response protocols.


To mitigate these challenges, the report proposes several recommendations, including improved protection in tiger corridors, promoting community stewardship models, developing early warning systems, enhancing coordination between central and state agencies, and expanding monitoring efforts to unsurveyed areas.

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