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India’s leopard count


GS Paper  :  3

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.



Union Environment Ministry has released a new report titled- Status of Leopards, Co-predators and Megaherbivores-2018.


As per the report:

  • India’s official leopard count has increased 63 per cent from 2014-2018. There were 12,852 leopards in the country in 2018 (7,910 in 2014).
  • The largest number of leopards have been estimated in Madhya Pradesh (3,421) followed by Karnataka (1,783) and Maharashtra (1,690).


About 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.


The government has also informed that there are 14 tiger reserves that had received the accreditation of the Global Conservation Assured|Tiger Standards (CA|TS), an accreditation tool agreed upon by tiger range countries. These include:

  1. Manas, Kaziranga and Orang in Assam.
  2. Satpura, Kanha and Panna in Madhya Pradesh.
  3. Pench in Maharashtra.
  4. Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar.
  5. Dudhwa in Uttar Pradesh.
  6. Sunderbans in West Bengal.
  7. Parambikulam in Kerala.
  8. Bandipur Tiger Reserve of Karnataka.
  9. Mudumalai and Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu.


What is Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS)?

CA|TS has been agreed upon as an accreditation tool by the global coalition of Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) and has been developed by tiger and protected area experts.

  • CA|TS is a set of criteria which allows tiger sites to check if their management will lead to successful tiger conservation.
  • It was officially launched in 2013.
  • The Global Tiger Forum (GTF), an international NGO working on tiger conservation, and World Wildlife Fund India are the two implementing partners of the National Tiger Conservation Authority for CATS assessment in India.


Insta Curious: 

Did you know that no separate census for leopard is conducted? The quadrennial tiger survey also estimates the population of other animals including leopards by relying on camera trap images. Reference



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.

Mains Link:

Discuss why a separate census is necessary for the estimation of leopards in India.

Sources: Down to Earth.