The number of leopards in the country has increased by 60 percent. The information was found in a report released by Union Minister for Forests and Environment Prakash Jabdekar. According to the Status of Leopard-2018 report, the number of leopards in India is now 12,852.
Odisha has 760 numbers of leopards, Madhya Pradesh has highest number of leopards, the number is at 3,421, Karnataka at 1,783 and Maharashtra at 1,690.
According to sources, the number of leopards on both sides of Shimlipal, Sunabeda Sanctuary in Nuapada, Phulbani-Rayagada-Kalahandi Forest and Satkoshia Sanctuary has increased. Leopards in abarangpur, Sundargarh and Sambalpur ranges have also increased. The number of the royal bengal tiger which is a endangered species is decreasing at alarming rates. At present, there are only 18 royal bengal tigers in Odisha. But the number of leopards is on the rise. It has more than doubled in the last four years.
According to a senior forest official, it is also possible that many leopards have come into Odisha from neighboring Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh forests. Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of leopardss. Madhya Pradesh has seen a 88% increase in the last four years. It was 18177. Now the number of leopards is 3,721. In Chhattisgarh, there were 847 leopards in the 2014 census. The number is increased to 853 now.
It is estimated that a large number of leopards prey are available in the Odisha forest. According to wildlife experts, Leopard preys on 80 to 90 species of wildlife. In the forests of Odisha, especially in the Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Nuapada, Satkosia and Phulbani-Rayagada ranges, prey has been found to be more prevalent.
Image Source : Odisha Tourism