Indian Leopard is a subspecies of leopard found in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and rarely in Pakistan and Bangladesh. How much is the population of leopards in India? Is it increasing or decreasing? Let’s find out.
The leopard population in India increased from 7,910 in 2014 to 12,852 in 2018, as per the Status of Leopard report of 2018. This was a sharp 63 percent increase in 4 years. The current population is unknown but is expected to be on the rise.
Madhya Pradesh, the central Indian state has the highest population of Leopards among all states. The largest population lives in Central India and the Eastern Ghats region. The following are the top 5 states with the highest leopard population in India.
- Madhya Pradesh – 3,421
- Karnataka – 1,783
- Maharashtra – 1,690
- Tamil Nadu – 868
- Chhattisgarh – 852
(This data is based on the Status of leopards, co-predators, and Megaherbivores report of 2018. Please note that the actual leopard population in India should be much more as the population was not assessed for every state.)
Leopards have always been the predominant big cats in India. Some researchers suggest India lost 75-90 percent leopard population in the last two centuries.
The Indian leopard is the third largest among the 6 big cats of the Indian subcontinent – Tiger, Asiatic Lion, Indian Leopard, Cheetah, Snow Leopard, and Clouded Leopard. Adult male leopards may weigh up to 75 kgs. Females are smaller and generally weigh less than 35 kgs. Indian leopards have beautiful rosette pattern on the fur which is unique to every individual. The colour of the fur varies with region and climate.
Scientific name – Panthera pardus fusca
Leopards are very agile and can easily climb trees, walls, and fences. This is the reason they are the most encountered big cats in India. You can easily find leopard encounter videos on the internet.
Yes, Leopards are larger than Cheetahs.
No, Tigers are much larger in size.
Yes, Indian leopards are frequently seen in the lower Himalayan forests.