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World Wildlife Day: How wildlife rescuers conserve leopards in Mumbai


Updated on: 04 March,2024 09:30 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Ainie Rizvi |

On World Wildlife Day, three wildlife experts share how they track, analyse and deploy technology to safeguard the leopard population in Mumbai

World Wildlife Day: How wildlife rescuers conserve leopards in Mumbai

Every year, World Wildlife Day is celebrated on March 3 to raise awareness about the world's flora and fauna. Photo Courtesy: istock

Situated in the heart of Mumbai, Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) is a protected area housing 52 leopards in its vicinity. With increasing pressures on their habitat combined with their ability to live in human-dominated spaces, leopards have been spotted in suburban areas like Marol, Bhayandar and Uttan. Recently, a leopard was also filmed behind the IIT-Bombay campus In Powai

Such spottings tend to create fear amongst locals as they lack an understanding of these jungle cats and their remarkable adaptability to urban settings, informs Venu Parmeshwar, head of operations, Wildlife Conservation Society – India. Consequently, these encounters led to human-wildlife conflicts which, in turn, caused their numbers to decline in the early 2000s. 

Taking cognisance of their dwindling numbers, wildlife conservation groups across India embarked on developing coexistence between humans and the Panthera-family cat. The result? An 8 per cent rise in leopard population from 2018 to 2022 as per the ‘Status of Leopards in India 2022’ report by the Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

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