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Data 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 2015.

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 international market.

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 division.


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 Mortality                220
 Poaching &            133
 Seizures             
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LEOPARD DEATHS IN 2016
 Mortality                 282
 Poaching &             154
 Seizures             
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       Total                  436
     

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