Nearly 9,000 leopards in tiger range states: Minister

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) Union Environment Minister Anil Dave on Tuesday informed Parliament that there are an estimated 6,566 to 9,181 leopards in tiger range states.

The estimation is based on the camera trap captures while estimating the tiger population by Wildlife Institute of India in 2014.

“Ministry has not undertaken any national leopard census in the country,” Dave said.

The Minister said that the survey helped with understanding the condition of leopard habitat across the tiger range states and reported that some of the studied areas are deficient in prey of leopard.

On the positive note, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)had reported a drop in the cases of leopard poaching.

The record is based on the drop in recovery of leopard parts. As per the WCCB, total 23 cases of recoveries of Leopard parts such as bones and skin, had been reported in 2016 till June 30. In contrast to this, total 95 recoveries were made in 2013, 63 in 2014 and 49 in 2015.

The minister said that to stop poaching various steps are being undertaken including collection, collation and dissemination of intelligence on illegal trafficking of wildlife, assisting state, involving other stakeholders like Coast guards and custom officers and providing special training to the foresters.

He added that WCCB trained 1,254 forest and police officials in 2013, 798 in 2014, 1,009 in 2015 and 309 in 2016 upto June 30 in investigation of wildlife crimes.

–IANS

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