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  • 23 December, 2020

  • 7 Min Read

Leopard and Snow Leopard

The Status of Leopards in India 2018 report

Context: Leopard is an important topic for UPSC Prelims Examination 2021. It is one of the most repeated questions in UPSC Prelims Examination.

  • It revealed that the Western Ghats was home to close to 3,387 leopards.
  • The population of leopards in India has gone up by 60 %, as per the ‘Status of Leopard in India 2018’ report.
  • India now has 12,852 leopards, witnessing a substantial increase in comparison to the 2014 data.
  • Camera traps were used to obtain leopards’ photographs in the Western Ghats.

About Leopards:

  • The leopard population was counted during the tiger population assessment undertaken in 2018. The leopard population was estimated to be within the forested habitats in tiger occupied states.
  • Habitat: The maximum population of wild Indian leopards are found in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Assam.
  • National Parks: The most popular national parks in India to spot wild leopards are Nagarhole National Park, Jim Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park, Mouling National Park, Gir Forest National Park, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park and Kanha National Park.
  • Leopard population of the Western Ghats landscape was reported from four distinct blocks: Radhanagari (Maharashtra) and Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and northern Kerala.

Snow Leopard

  • Listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN; Appendix I of CITES
  • Inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m.
  • Habitat extends through 12 countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, BIN (not Bangla), Russia, Mongolia, China, SCO C Asian countries. China contains largest as much as 60% of all snow leopard habitat areas followed by Mongolia and India.
  • It is the State animal of Himachal Pradesh and the National Heritage Animal of Pakistan.

Conservation of Snow Leopard

  • Global Snow Leopard Forum, 2013: 12 countries encompassing the snow leopard‘s range.
  • Bishkek Declaration: To protect the species and it‘s environment.
  • Global Snow Leopard and Eco-system Protection Program (GSLEP):
    1. It is an inter-governmental alliance of all the 12 Snow Leopard range countries. It is a joint initiative of range society, and the private sector.
    2. Goal — secure the long-term survival of the snow leopard in its natural ecosystem.

India plans 1st ever Snow Leopard Survey

  • To study the population and geographical range of Snow Leopard who is an elusive and endangered species.
  • It is found along the upper reaches of Himalayas in Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. But issues of estimation is the reclusive nature of animal and inhospitable terrain.
  • This is the 1st time we will use technologies like camera traps and scientific surveys to estimate the numbers. NTCA is conducting it (Head – Anup Kumar Nayak).

Source: TH

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