The Minister of Environment of the released the “State of the Leopard” report. The leopard population has been estimated using camera trapping methods.
♦ As of 2018, there were 12,852 leopards in India, compared with 7910 in 2014, an increase of 60% in four years.
♦ It is estimated that the highest concentration of cheetahs is concentrated in Madhya Pradesh (3,421), followed by Karnataka (1,783) and Maharashtra (1,690).
♦ A recent meta-analysis of the status and distribution of leopards shows that the range loss of African species is 48-67%, and that of Asian species is 83-87%.
♦ In India, leopards have experienced a population decline of 75-90% that may be caused by humans in the past 120-200 years.
♦ In the Indian subcontinent, poaching, loss of habitat, depletion of natural prey and conflict are the main threats to leopard populations.
♦ All of these have caused the IUCN to change the status of the species from “near threat” to “vulnerable”.
♦ As for the regional distribution, central India and the Western Ghats have the largest number of leopards at 8,071. In the hilly area of the northeast, there are only 141 leopards.
♦ Leopards are estimated to be found in forest habitats in the Tiger Mountains region of the country, but other leopard-occupied areas (such as non-forest habitats, higher elevations in the Himalayas, arid landscapes and most of the northeast landscape) have not been sampled.
♦ Therefore, population estimates should be considered as the minimum number of leopards in each landscape.