LEOPARD population has declined 75-90 per cent in India, according to a study which has suggested that the carnivore demand similar conservation attention like tigers in the country. The study was conducted by scientists from the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS India) and the Wildlife Institute of India.
The scientists have used genetic data from leopards sampled across the Indian subcontinent to investigate population
structure and patterns of demographic decline, a CWS India press release said.
They investigated the demographic history of each identified sub-populations and compared genetic decline analyses with countrywide local extinction probabilities.
The study was conducted by Supriya Bhatt, Suvankar Biswas, Dr Bivash Pandav, Dr Samrat Mondol (all from Wildlife Institute of India) and Dr Krithi K Karanth (Centre for Wildlife Studies).
They collected faecal samples and identified 56 unique individuals using a panel of 13 microsatellite markers, and merged this data with already available 143 leopard individuals. The study revealed population structure and recent decline in leopards.