First Leopard Census of India: Main Findings

First Leopard Census of India: Main Findings

Question: India has conducted the first census of the spotted leopard recently. Discuss its findings.

- India has estimated the total number of its most populous and elusive large predators, the leopards

- First ever census of the Indian leopards have been conducted alongside the tiger census placing the population of the spotted leopard at around 7910 in tiger habitats except the NE

- Leopards were counted employing the same methods used for the tiger census

- This involved obtaining pictures of animals via camera trapping and gathering other evidence of presence

- The numbers were then extrapolated to cover the entire forest landscape

- India’s leopard population in total was pegged around 12,000 to 14,000

- Census numbers provide the first accurate picture of density and distribution of spotted cats estimated previously to be around 10,000 to 45,000 in the nation

- Census covered 350000 sq km of forested habitat across Shivalik hills and Gangetic plain, central India and Western Ghats

- A total of 17,143 pictures of 1647 leopards were obtained covering forested landscapes

- Census found that the leopard population in India is quite healthy

- The census also discovered leopard population are continuous resulting in healthy genetic exchange

- Leopards there do not face the problem of isolated population, unlike Indian tigers

- Leopards are faring bette than tigers because they can survive in shrubs and human impacted forest areas as well

- MP has the highest population of leopards at 1817 while Karnataka is next at 1129. Maharashtra is home to 905 leopards and Chhatitisgarh has 846 leopards while TN has 815 in number

- The census did not cover the higher Himalayas and parts of east India, Rajasthan, Gujarat and the entire NE

Facts and Stats

According to the census, the number of leopards in different areas of the nation was as follows:

- Western Ghats- 2487

- C. India-4457

- Shivalik-929

Shivalik Region and Gangetic Plains:

- UP-194

- Uttarakhand-703

- Bihar-32

Western Ghats region

- Kerala-472

- Karnataka-1129

- TN-815

- Goa-71

C. India Region

- AP-343

- Chhattisgarh

- MP-1817

- Jharkhand - 171

- Odisha - 345

- Maharashtra-905

- Rajasthan-171
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