The Maharashtra Government has decided to sterilize Leopards for the sustainable management of population for leopards in the State.
Gujarat’s forest department has also proposed sterilisation of leopards, especially in and around Gir National Park.
In 2019-20 alone, Maharashtra saw 58 human deaths due to leopards—over half the 97 casualties in 2010-18.
Maharashtra has decided to sterilize leopards as a response to the increasing leopardhuman conflicts, rising leopard population, and the need to protect both leopards and human communities.
The proposed sterilisation program aims to address these challenges while complying with environmental conservation laws and regulations.
Concerns about the sterilisation of leopards include doubts about its effectiveness, the need for comprehensive scientific research, veterinary skill development, potential stress on leopards, challenges with traditional methods, and alternative contraception options.
There is also an emphasis on addressing conflicts and gaining community support for conservation efforts.
Scientific Name: Panthera pardus
The leopard is the smallest of the Big Cats (Of genus Panthera namely the Tiger, Lion, Jaguar, Leopard, and Snow Leopard), and known for its ability to adapt in a variety of habitats.
A nocturnal animal, the leopard hunts by night.
It feeds on smaller species of herbivores found in its range, such as the chital, hog deer and wild boar.
Melanism is a common occurrence in leopards, wherein the entire skin of the animal is black in colour, including its spots.
A melanistic leopard is often called black panther and mistakenly thought to be a different species. Conservation Status:
IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule-I