Tracking Leopards: Conserving Wildlife

Tracking Leopards: Conserving Wildlife


  • Recently, the hunt to preserve wildlife has been gathering pace amidst the global climate change concerns.
  • Different scientific methods have been introduced such as; SMR(Spatial Mark-Resight) model to increase spatial efficiency.

  • Spatial mark–resight (SMR) is a freshly developed SCR(Spatially explicit capture-recapture) extension that grants for abundance estimation when only a subset of the population is identifiable by artificial or natural marks. 
  • This method needs a live‐trapping time frame for tagging, and a subsequent sampling period to amass capture histories of both marked and unmarked individuals.


  • To have a clear idea of the scenario for preserving wildlife, livestock has to be put in place.
  • This includes tracking down the current number, the density of the population.
  • In India, The Wild Life Protection Act of 1972 is for the protection of plants and animal species.
  • Also, Article 48A of the Constitution of India advises the State to preserve and boost the environment and safeguard wildlife and forests in India.


  • By far, the most urgent threat is illegal hunting and poaching for preserving wildlife.
  • The forest guards have not been provided with proper training or adequate weapons to deal with the challenges they face.
  • The conviction rate is below 3% in such cases and hence there is no subsequent deterrent to discourage the crimes.
  • The growing urbanization poses a threat to the natural habitat of the wildlife animals as they are getting exposed to the human environment and in the process, endangering themselves.

Way ahead:

  • Just like in Gujrat, where the nomadic tribe, Maldharis, helped conserving the Gir lions, the same model can be applied to the areas where the threat level is increasing day by day.
  • Better coordination and training between the agencies to reduce the red-tapism and increased efficiency.
  • Awareness among the citizens, an educational curriculum based on the same would do a world of good for the coming generation.

  • Currently, there are more than 12,000 leopards in India, a number that has gone up by 60% in the past 7 years.
  • The IUCN status was hence changed to Vulnerable from Near-threatened.

(The Hindu)

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