|Leopards Battling For Survival In India
May 18, 2010newslink
May 18 (Bernama) -- Like tigers, endangered leopards too are battling
for survival in India, as poachers are actively killing the animal to
feed the illicit global demand for big cat skin, according to Wildlife
Protection of India (WPSI) on Tuesday.
WPSI's Head Belinda Wright said some 160 reported dead so far since this January, compare to 290 in 2009.
it is easy to trap leopards, the wildlife smugglers find them as
perfect replacement for tigers for sales through wildlife trade," she
said, adding its bones are widely used in traditional medicine in
countries in China.
She added: "Leopard coats and trimmings are also used for traditional dances and festivals, and are sold quite openly in Tibet".
Since 1994, India has lost at least 3,189 leopards," according to an estimate by WPSI, a non-government organisation.
a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four "big cats"
in the genus Panthera. The other three are namely the tiger, lion and
WPSI estimates that there are between 7,000 to 10,000
leopards in India, and these endangerd species are protected under
Schedule-I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Bureau of Investigations' wildlife crime cell has estimated that for
every tiger skin, there are at least seven leopard skins in the haul.
In 2004, a seizure in Tibet of 31 tiger skins yielded 581 leopard skins.
from shrinking forests, Wright said that adaptive migration nature of
the predatory felines is bringing them towards human habitats resulting
in severe man-animal conflict.
For instance, a total of 74 straying leopards were caged from the revenue area surrounding Gir in Gujarat in 2007.
many are not lucky enough to survive, given that the conflict has
assumed alarming proportion so much so that angry villagers bay for
Given that as many as 62 people were killed by cats
between 1990-2001 in Pauri-Garwal itself speaks of the tragic fate that
awaits to this shy and solitary animal.