• At least 260 leopards were poached in the country between 2015 and 2018, according to information given to Parliament by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
  • Of this, 64 cases were recorded in 2015, 83 in 2016, 47 in 2017 and 66 till October 2018.
  • Of the total, Uttarakhand accounted for 60 cases and Himachal Pradesh 49.
  • Central Indian States like Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also recorded a high number of cases in the past four years, at 25 and 21 respectively.
  • Poaching of leopards was reported by 19 States, including Assam and West Bengal in the East, Punjab in the North and Telangana and Tamil Nadu in the South.
  • Wildlife organisations, however, estimate leopard poaching to be at a much higher level based on the seizures of body parts.
  • 163 cases of poaching and seizures of body parts were recorded in 2018, an increase from 159 in 2017
  • Experts point out that since leopards live in close proximity to human habitation and are found all across the country, the cases of leopard poaching too are spread countrywide with a significant number of such incidents not showing up in government records.
  • There are also several incidents of leopard deaths on account of road kills, particularly in States such as Maharashtra and Karnataka.