Shows 1,664 Leopards Poached Last Decade
By Meera Bhardwaj
The New Indian Express, 05th April 2016
BENGALURU: Statistics on leopard killings in the country in
the last decade is shocking with the Wildlife Protection Society of
India (WPSI) reporting that 1,664 animals were poached between 2005 and
Experts say that this is just the tip of the iceberg as more number of
animals are poached as the skin and bones are highly prized in the
This year, 46 leopards had already been poached between January and
March while another 80 had died for a variety of reasons. According to
WPSI, poaching and seizures were 125 in 2015, apart from the documented
death of 271 animals.
According to experts, in the last 10 years, almost 150-160 animals were
poached every year. With leopard bones being seen as a substitute for
tiger bones and its skin sought after in the global market, there is a
huge demand for the spotted pelt and bones.
The WPSI, which works with government enforcement agencies to apprehend
tiger and leopard poachers and traders across India, also investigates
any unnatural tiger or leopard deaths, or seizure of body parts. A
shocking 1,278 leopards were killed in 2000 alone. A large shipment of
seized leopard skins and parts in 2000 accounted for the unusual spike
in documented animal deaths.
According to WPSI, the figures represent only a fraction of the actual
poaching and trade in leopard parts in India.
G Veeresh, wildlife conservationist from Chikkamagaluru, who has
participated in efforts by both forest and police departments to catch
illegal traders, says poaching is rampant and nearly 8-10 cases have
been reported. On and off between 2010 and 2015, cases have come up
with a leopard skin caught in Kadur police limits in 2010 while a
poacher caught in 2014-15 in Aldur Range of Chikkamagaluru forest