Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Extinction risk for leopards in North India:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.



An international study we conducted that quantifies the threat posed by roads to the survival of animal populations around the world.


Key findings related to India:

  • The leopard faces an 83% increased risk of extinction in North India due to roadkill.
  • The leopard population of North India is at highest risk among four animal populations identified as being the most vulnerable to extinction in the next 50 years if observed roadkill levels persist.
  • Leopard is followed by the maned wolf and the little spotted cat, both of Brazil, and the brown hyena of southern Africa.
  • At an 83% increased risk, the study estimates the time to the North Indian leopard population’s extinction at 33 years.

current affairs


Report on Leopards in India:

In August 2021, the Union Environment Ministry 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.


Insta Curious:

Did you know that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognises roadkill as a threat to 10 mammalian species? What are the other threats?



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: Indian Express.