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Last Updated : Jun 12, 2019 12:45 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

India loses 218 leopards in first four months of 2019

In 2019, poaching has been the main cause of death, claiming the lives of 57 felines between January and April.

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Image: Pexels/Pixabay
Image: Pexels/Pixabay

A few days ago, the news of the killing of a leopard was doing the rounds. The big cat’s paws were chopped off while a bunch of villagers in Assam killed it after it had strayed into human settlement. This is just one of the examples of the colossal issue at hand -- human-wildlife conflict. Not just leopards, in the eastern belt of India, elephants and tigers, too, fall prey to human wrath.

Though the alarming report that says one leopard died in India every day in 2018 should have rung the alarm bell, it seems like we have failed to devise ways to save the dwindling population of big cats in the country.

The first four months of the year 2019 reported the loss of 218 leopards, which is roughly 40 per cent more than that of the previous year’s death toll. Data maintained by the non-profit organisation Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) revealed that 500 leopards had died in 2018.

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As per WPSI figures, at least one leopard died every day in 2018; they were either lynched or shot dead or got run over by trains while some others died from getting trapped in borewells and other water bodies.

However, in 2019 so far, poaching has been the main cause of death, claiming the lives of 57 felines between January and April.

Moreover, a rise in the number of infrastructure projects in forest land has also hiked the number of accidents, with electrocution claiming the lives of five leopards in 2019.

Notably, leopards are enlisted as “vulnerable” in the IUCN red list, which essentially means that it is on the brink of becoming an endangered species.

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First Published on Jun 12, 2019 12:45 pm

tags #leopards

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