- For the first time, a ball-park figure in numerical terms can be attributed to the population of leopards in the country.
- The figures reveal that the current population of leopards is slated to be in the range of 7000-8000 in the areas covered, exclusive of the north east region. However it is predicted to be in the range of 12,000-14,000 taking note of the unaccounted areas as well.
- Statistics show that Uttarakhand records the highest number of 703 leopards in the Shivalik region and Karnataka with 1129 leopards in the Western Ghats region. Madhya Pradesh, on the other hand came out a clean winner recording a sanguine figure of 1817 leopards, thereby having the highest population of the species doting its landscape.
- It is a laudatory attempt made by the government as it clears the ambiguity surrounding the issue.
- The same methods were used for determining the population of leopards as those used for the tiger census such as camera- trapping, pug mark count etc
- The western parts of the country including Gujarat, parts of Rajasthan and the entire north-east were kept out of the program.
- Figures reveal a healthy size of leopards, thereby painting an optimistic picture, as compared to the dwindling numbers of tigers.
News Item Compiled by Manasa B. H.