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New Delhi : Releasing the Status of Leopards report in New Delhi on December 21, 2020, Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar said that increase in Tiger, Lion, and Leopards numbers over the last few years is a testimony to the conservation efforts and of the fledgling wildlife and biodiversity of the country.

India now has 12,852 leopards as compared to the previous estimate of 7,910 conducted in 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, according to a PIB release.

Speaking on the occasion, Javadekar remarked that monitoring of the tiger in India has clearly shown its umbrella role in the ecosystem, which has shed light on other charismatic species like the Leopard.

India’s world record tiger survey also estimated the population of leopards and the tiger range was found home to 12,852 (12,172-13,535) leopards. They occur in prey rich protected areas as well as multi-use forests. A total of 5,240 adult individual leopards were identified in a total of 51,337 leopard photographs using pattern recognition software. Statistical analysis estimates the leopard population at  12,800 leopards within the tiger’s range.

Tiger has not only served as an umbrella species but even its monitoring has helped evaluate the status of other species, like the leopard. The National Tiger Conservation Authority-Wildlife Institute of India(NTCA-WII) shall be reporting on several other species shortly.

Prakash Javadekar
Congratulations to the States of MP(3,421), Karnataka(1783) and Maharashtra(1690) who have recorded the highest leopard estimates. Increase in Tiger, Lion & Leopards population over the last few years is a testimony to fledgling wildlife & biodiversity.