TRAFFIC study on leopards


  • A study paper on the seizure and mortality of ‘common leopards’ (Panthera pardus fusca), titled ‘‘SPOTTED’ in Illegal Wildlife Trade: A Peek into Ongoing Poaching and Illegal Trade of Leopards in India’ has been released by TRAFFIC India.

Key Points

  • The paper titled ‘‘SPOTTED’ in Illegal Wildlife Trade: A Peek into Ongoing Poaching and Illegal Trade of Leopards in India’ also revealed that the highest numbers of poaching incidents were reported from the States of Uttarakhand and Maharashtra. 
  • skin remained the most in-demand product
  • bones of the leopard are possibly traded as tiger bones

Back to Basics

About Leopard

  • distributed in India, Nepal, Bhutan and parts of Pakistan.
  • It inhabits tropical rainforests, dry deciduous forests, temperate forests and northern coniferous forests but does not occur in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans.
  • Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
  • Included in Appendix I of CITES.
  • Listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.


  • TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, is the leading non-governmental organisation working globally on the trade of wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity and sustainable development.
  • It is founded by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • It aims to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:
  • conserving the world’s biological diversity;
  • ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable; and
  • Promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

About Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection programme (GSLEP)

  • an international initiative that seeks to address high-mountain development issues facing Snow Leopard conservation.
  • The programme unties the 12 Range States of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in finding national and international solutions to the threats facing this charismatic animal.
  • In November 2018, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to launch efforts to save leopards on the lines of Project Tiger.
  • Currently there is no particular policy to save leopards in India.

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