GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Environment and forests
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 17
TO BE ANSWERED ON 15.11.2007
Death of Leopards
SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS be pleased to state:-
(a) whether it is a fact that in 100 days from June 1, 2007 to September 10, 2007, 14 leopards died in various parts of the country for various reasons, thereby endangering the species;
(b) if so, the number of leopards presently living in the country (as on 31-10-07) as compared to their number of 8203, according to the census in 2001-02; and
(c) the steps being taken by Government to protect the animal from extinction?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS
(SHRI S. REGUPATHY)
(a) As per the information received from the State/UT Governments, there are reports of death of leopards due to various reasons in different parts of the country.
(b) No population estimation of leopards is available after 2001-02 for comparison.
(c) The measures taken by Government of India to ensure protection of leopards, inter alia, include the following:
1. Leopard has been included in the Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, thus according them the highest degree of protection.
2. A network of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries has been set up across the country to protect wildlife including leopards.
3. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, with a network of five Regional and three Sub Regional Offices, has been set up to control wildlife crimes.
4. Financial support is being provided under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes – Development of National Parks and Sanctuaries, Project Tiger and Project Elephant, to State /UT Governments for the conservation and development of wildlife and its habitats.
5. India is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) that regulates international trade in wildlife and its derivatives.
In addition, the State/UT Governments have also taken the following measures to protect wild animals including leopards:
1. Development of wildlife habitat to increase the population of wild animals.
2. Intensive patrolling in sensitive areas.
3. Deployment of Ex-service men for patrolling.
4. Coordination with other law enforcement agencies.
5. Provision for arms & ammunition, and communication facilities.
6. Training to frontline staff.
7. Conducting nature awareness campaigns for the public.