After lions and tigers, the population of leopards in India increased by a whopping 60% in the last four years, a recent report by Environment Ministry stated.
In the report named ‘Status of Leopards in India 2018,’ as many as 5,000 leopards were added to India’s leopard population in the last four years. The last report revealed that India had 8,000 leopards back in 2014.
“There were 8,000 leopards in 2014. Increase in the population of tigers, Asiatic lions and now leopards, shows how India is protecting its environment, ecology and biodiversity,” he said.
The total leopard population in India, as in 2018, stood at 12,852 with Madhya Pradesh leading the pack at 3,421 followed by Karnataka 1,783 and Maharashtra 1,690.
“Congratulations to all those who are working towards animal conservation. We have to keep up these efforts and ensure our animals live in safe habitats,” PM Narendra Modi tweeted quoting the report.
The density of the big cats in Central India and the Eastern Ghats is the highest with 8,071 leopards spotted in the region. The western ghat region, meanwhile, has got 3,387 leopards. As many as 1,253 leopards can be spotted in Shivalik and Gangetic Plains.
Besides leopards, India’s lion population is also on a rise, especially in Gujarat’s Gir Forest. As per a 2020 report, a 29% of rise (from 523 in 2015 to 674 in 2020) in the population of Asiatic Lions was recorded in Gir in the last 5 years.