The Nature Watch India (NWI) a wildlife non Government organisation sought the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) National Board for Wildlife ( NBWL) to bring the Panthera Pardus Fusca or Leopards in the endangered red list from existing vulnerable A-2 category so that Leopard Project could be launched to protect its dwindling number.
In a press conference held today, the national convener of NWI Mr. Rajeshwar Singh Negi disclosed that he had submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi who is also the Chairman of NBWL and Mr.Inger Anderson to declare the Leopard as an engendered species in India. He said that he also sought a Leopard Project for NWI to save the extinction of Leopards in the Country asking IUCN to put the animal in the IUCN Red list from the present Vulnerable A -2 Category.
Raising the alarming call for protection of this wild animal Mr. Negi said that keeping widespread lynching, hunting, capture, organise poaching and trade of skins and body parts to China and other south east Asian nations it was on verge of extinction in its many historical habitat in the Country. Blaming the State wildlife authorities incompetency to manage its protection program he alleged that lack of human trained resources, skill and priorities and non intervention and assistance from the Central wildlife agencies and the Central Government posing danger for its number alarmingly.
He said that the State Agencies confirmed killing of around 200 leopards in the State however, the central customs assessments warns killing of about 2000 leopard annually during its poaching for tiger skin and its body parts. Mr. Negi revealed that 99 percent Leopards are being killed for sake of its smuggling for international trade. Citing figures of 2015 Leopard National census he said its count was figured around 7000 which should have been 12000 currently as their are better protected under the Tiger Conservation reserves however in reality its number could be much less as the methodology used in 2015 for the census was outdated.
According to the Wild Life Protection Society of India nearly 436 Leopards were killed or poached in 2016, multiplying the number of ten times as the formula adopted to undetected poaching its number may be go to 4360 which shows warning signs as it would likely to be become extinct by 2027.