30 November 2020.
In the first of its kind project The Gujarat forest department has transferred 12 leopards to a private rescue and Rehabilitation centre in Jamnagar. These leopards were captured from the wild after they encountered conflicts with humans. Project is implemented under public private partnership between the Reliance Industries Limited and the state government.
The Leopards have been transferred from the Sakkar Baug Zoological Park in Junagadh to the Greens Zoological Rescue and Rehabilitation kingdom located in Jamnagar.
Some Facts about leopards:
· Leopard census in India
· The last formal Leopard census in India was conducted in 2014.
· The census estimated that the population of cat is between 12000 and 14000 in the country.
· It also estimated that around 8,000 leopards are in the vicinity of Tiger Habitat.
Conservation status of leopard
- The leopards are listed in schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
- They are included in the appendix 1 of CITES.
- Also, leopards are listed as vulnerable under the IUCN red list of threatened species.
Human Leopard conflict
- The Government of India brought out the guidelines for Human Leopard conflict management in April 2011.
- In spite of several such steps, the number of leopards captured due to conflict with humans has increased three-fold since 2011.
- Also, the number of leopards translocated permanently has increased by three-fold. Translocation is movement of indigenous animals from one place to another.
- They are being translocated mainly due to human injuries, anxiety caused by the Leopard sightings in human habitations, livestock depredation, human death.
The study conducted by TRAFFIC says that around 747 leopards died between 2015 and 2019.
- Leopards are nocturnal animals.
- Their population has declined by 75% to 90% according to the study conducted by the Centre for Wildlife Studies and the Wildlife Institute of India.
- So far nine sub species of Leopards have been identified. All the nine species are distributed across Asia and Africa.