Finally, some good news for wildlife lovers. The number of leopards in Karnataka has doubled to around 2,500 since 2015, according to a report in the Hindustan Times. Three years ago the number of these big cats in the state was just 1,129. The recent number was arrived at after the state forest department and Nature Conservation Foundation conducted a census.
However, this time the study was conducted in the entire state while the previous study was restricted to only tiger landscape areas of Karnataka, the report stated.
The news of rising leopards is positive as India has just lost 23 Asiatic lions in just a matter of few weeks. All the lions that died last month were from Gujarat’s Gir Forest National Park.
Commenting on the report, chief author of the study Sanjay Gubbi told HT that it was important to mitigate human-leopard conflict. According to the report, his team which conducted the census found that over 27000 villages in Karnataka have witnessed human-leopard conflict.
The responsibility of managing wildlife including conflict situations lies with the respective state governments.
Earlier this year, lawyer Anupam Tripathi filed a petition in the Supreme Court and sought directions to the Centre to protect leopards in the country.
According to Tripathi, India has lost 886 leopards in the last two years. He has also claimed that in just two decades the number of leopards in the country had come down from 45000 to 7,900 in 2015.
The petition blamed poaching and man-leopard conflict behind the drastic fall in numbers.