PM Modi lauds work on animal conservation after increase in leopard population

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday lauded the efforts undertaken by the government towards animal conservation, following the release of the "Status of Leopard in India" report which recorded a surge in the population of leopards in the country.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday lauded the efforts undertaken by the government towards animal conservation, following the release of the "Status of Leopard in India" report which recorded a surge in the population of leopards in the country.

"Great news! After lions and tigers, the leopard population increases. Congratulations to all those who are working towards animal conservation. We have to keep up these efforts and ensure our animals live in safe habitats," Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

This comes after the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change released the status of Leopard on Monday. India's population of leopards has gone up 60 per cent and the country now has 12,852 leopards, the ministry has said.

Releasing the "Status of Leopard in India 2018" report, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar said that increase in numbers of Tigers, Lions and Leopards over the last few years is a testimony to the conservation efforts and of the fledgeling wildlife and biodiversity of the country.

"India now has 12,852 leopards as compared to the previous estimate of 7910 conducted 2014. More than 60 per cent increase in population has been recorded. The States of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra recorded the highest leopard estimates at 3,421; 1,783 and 1,690 respectively", an official release added.

After releasing the report Javadekar said that monitoring of the tiger in India has clearly shown its umbrella role in the ecosystem, which has shed light on other charismatic species like the Leopard.

India's world record tiger survey also estimated the population of leopards and the tiger range was found home to 12,852 (12,172-13,535) leopards. They occur in prey rich protected areas as well as multi-use forests. A total of 5,240 adult individual leopards were identified in a total of 51,337 leopard photographs using pattern recognition software.

Madhya Pradesh reported the highest number of leopards followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra.

The Union minister had tweeted, "Congratulations to the States of Madhya Pradesh (3,421), Karnataka (1783) and Maharashtra (1690) who have recorded the highest leopard estimates. Increase in tiger, lion and leopards population over the last few years is a testimony to fledgling wildlife and biodiversity."

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