While cases of poaching have been on the rise, wildlife experts said that another major reason for leopard mortality is road accidents.
Mumbai: Over a period of seven months, 57 leopards died in Maharashtra. This is more than the total number of leopard deaths recorded throughout 2017, which was 40, according to Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) data.
While cases of poaching have been on the rise, wildlife experts said that another major reason for leopard mortality is road accidents. This year, a total 303 leopard deaths was recorded across India. In Maharashtra, the number of leopard deaths due to poaching in six months of 2018 is 11, which is more than that of last year i.e. 7. One more leopard was injured due to poaching and another eight were killed, taking the count of poaching cases to 19.
Maharashtra recorded the second highest cases of poaching this year. “Due to strict vigilance in tiger reserves and both state and central agencies efforts, poachers have moved to leopards for illegal trade of their skin, bones and claws.” said Kishna Tiwari, Mumbai-based leopard conservationist.