Home India News In 2007, 168 leopards died in India

In 2007, 168 leopards died in India


New Delhi : Currently India is home to over 11,000 leopards, but the sad part is that during 2007 at least 168 leopards died due to various reasons, including poaching.

According to a report unveiled by the ministry of environment and forest Wednesday, of the total leopards that died in 2007, Uttarakhand accounted for 58 deaths and Gujarat 37 deaths.

While 23 of these protected big cats died in Maharashtra, 12 deaths were reported from Jammu and Kashmir, eight from Assam and seven from Orissa.

In total, 16 states contributed to the deaths of these 168 leopards.

One of the recent deaths was reported from West Bengal last week when a female leopard died after being injured by a poacher in the Dalgaon forest. A foot-and-half long metal trap was found stuck to one of its legs.

“Leopards have been accorded the highest degree of protection by including them in the Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The government took this action noticing leopards’ deaths during last year. It is reported that more than 150 leopards died during last year at various places,” a ministry report said.

“There are more than 11,000 leopards in the country today. Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand states have maximum number of leopards followed by Gujarat,” it added.

While Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh together account for over 2,206 leopards, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are home to 2,168 leopards. Gujarat has 1,070 leopards. Among all states, Jammu and Kashmir has the lowest number of these animals.

The ministry reported cases of poaching, and seizures involving major species like tiger, elephant, rhino, star tortoise, bear, musk deer and otter during three years from 2003.

The ministry claimed that the central government has taken a slew of measures to ensure protection of leopards. The measures include a network of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries for the protection of wildlife, including leopards.