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TRAFFIC study on leopards:

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

TRAFFIC study on leopards:


TRAFFIC India has released a paper titled ‘‘SPOTTED’ in Illegal Wildlife Trade: A Peek into Ongoing Poaching and Illegal Trade of Leopards in India’.

  • It is a study on the seizure and mortality of ‘common leopards’ (Panthera pardus fusca).

Highlights of the report:

  • Of the total of 747 leopard deaths between 2015-2019 in India, 596 were linked to illegal wildlife trade and activities related to poaching.
  • The highest numbers of poaching incidents were reported from the States of Uttarakhand and Maharashtra.
  • Among all the derivatives found in illegal wildlife trade, skin remained the most in-demand product, accounting for 69% of all seizures, while derivatives like claws, teeth and bones were also traded.


  • The last formal census on India’s leopards was conducted in 2014, which estimated the population between 12,000 and 14,000.
  • The results of a recent census of leopard sightings are likely to be released soon by the Wildlife Institute of India.


The plight of leopards in illegal wildlife trade has been highlighted from time to time through investigative reports and studies, and through various wildlife enforcement actions across the country.However, this has not deterred wildlife smugglers, who are lured by high profits and low risk of detection, to target the species.

Therefore, experts suggest that more emphasis should be given to the conservation of leopards.


TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, is the leading non-governmental organisation working globally on the trade of wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity and sustainable development.

It was founded in 1976 as a strategic alliance of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Insta Facts- Leopard:

  1. Scientific Name- Panthera pardus.
  2. Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  3. Included in Appendix I of CITES.
  4. Listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  5. Nine subspecies of the leopard have been recognized, and they are distributed across Africa and Asia.



Prelims Link:

  1. IUCN status of Leopard.
  2. What is CITES?
  3. Subspecies of leopard.
  4. Various Schedules under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
  5. Tiger census in India is conducted by?
  6. IUCN red list categories.
  7. About TRAFFIC.

Sources: the Hindu.