Status, Distribution and Conservation of Leopard Panthera pardus fusca in Rajasthan

  • Krishnendu Mondal
  • Shilpi Gupta
  • K. Sankar
  • Qamar Qureshi


This chapter describes the present status and distribution of the second important big cat, the Leopard, which is an Endangered animal as per Appendix-1 of CITES and Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006. Worldwide, eight subspecies of Leopard are identified based on DNA studies. The Indian subspecies, Panthera pardus fusca, is distributed all over the country, being absent only in the arid desert and above the timber line in the Himalayas. The latest available figures based on pugmark census the status, population and conservation issues of Leopard in 16 protected areas are discussed. Leopard is one of the least studied species in Rajasthan. The text discusses the feeding behaviour, adaptability for diverse diet including domestic livestock, man–leopard conflict and ability to withstand anthropogenic pressure and decline in its natural prey-base. Habitat destruction, loss of wild prey, poaching for skins, bones and claws and poisoning carcasses of livestock killed by leopard are significant threats to this species. Under these circumstances, the need for basic research on Leopard ecology, for example, movement, range, feeding ecology, habitat utilisation and man–animal conflict, have been stressed upon for the conservation of this magnificent animal in Rajasthan.


Wildlife Sanctuary Golden Jackal Tiger Reserve Hanuman Langur Forest Tract 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the Director and Dean, Wildlife Institute of India, for extending support to work in Sariska and the Rajasthan Forest Department under the “Leopard Ecology Project”.


  1. 1.
    Kitchener A (1991) The natural history of the wild cats. Christopher Helm, A & C Black, London, pp 280Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Scott J (1988) The Leopard’s tale. Jonathan Scott. Elm Tree Books, London, p 192Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bailey TN (1993) The African leopard, Ecology and behaviour of a solitary felid. Columbia University Press, New York, pp 429Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Daniel JC (1996) The leopard in India—a natural history. Natraj Publishers, Dehra Dun, India, pp 228Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Miththapala S, Seidensticker J, Phillips LG, Fernando SBU, Smallwood JA (1989) Identification of individual leopards (Panthera pardus) using spot pattern variation. J Zool Lond 218:527–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Prater SH (1980) The book of Indian animals. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay, Oxford University Press, Mumbai, India, pp 483Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Myers N (1976) The leopard, Panthera pardus in Africa. IUCN monograph no. 5. pp 62Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Anonymous (1993) The Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Natraj Publishers, Dehradun, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Martin RB, De Meulanaer T (1988) Survey of the status of the leopard (Panthera pardus) in Sub-Saharan Africa. Secretariat on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, Lausanne, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Nowell K, Jackson P (1996) Wild Cats: status survey and Conservation Plan. Gland, Switzerland. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group; p 12–16Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Seidensticker JC, Sunquist ME, McDougal CW (1990) Leopards living at the edge of Royal Chitawan National Park, Nepal. In: Daniel JC, Seraro JS (eds) Conservation in developing countries: problems and prospects. Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University Press, India, pp 415–423Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Eisenberg JF, Lockhart M (1972) An ecological reconnaissance of Wilpattu National Park, Ceylon. Smithsonian Contrib Zool 101:1–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Santiapillai C, Chambers MR, Ishwaran N (1982) The leopard Panthera pardus fusca (Meyer, 1794) in the Ruhuna National Park, Sri Lanka and observations relevant to its conservation. Biol Cons 23:5–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Johnsingh AJT (1983) Large mammalian predators in Bandipur. J Bomb Nat Hist Soc 80:1–57Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rabinowitz AR (1989) The density and behaviour of large cats in a dry tropical forest in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand. Nat Hist Soc Bull Siam Soc 37(2):235–251Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Karanth KU, Sunquist ME (1995) Prey selection by tiger, leopard and dhole in tropical forests. J Anim Ecol 64:439–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sankar K, Johnsingh AJT (2002) Food habits of tiger (Panthera tigris) and leopard (Panthera pardus) in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India, as shown by scat analysis. Mammalia 66(2):285–289Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Edgaonkar A, Chellam R (1998) A preliminary study on the ecology of the leopard (Pathera pardus fusca) in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Maharashtra. RR-98/002. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, p 33Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kawanishi K, Sunquist ME (2004) Conservation status of tigers in a primary rainforest of Peninsular Malaysia. Bio Conserv 120:329–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Qureshi Q, Edgaonkar A (2006) Ecology of leopard in Satpura-Bori conservation area, Madhya Pradesh. Interim Report. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra DunGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Goyal SP, Chauhan D (2007) Status and ecology of leopard in Pauri Garhwal: Ranging patterns and reproductive biology of leopard (Panthera pardus) in Pauri Garhwal. Comprehensive Report 2000–2006. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, p 48Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Anonymous (2007) A Wildlife Census report on wild animals in National Parks and Sanctuaries, Rajasthan. Unpublished report. Rajasthan Forest Department, Jaipur, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Champion HG, Seth SK (1968) A revised survey of the forest types of India. Manager of Publications, Govt. of Indian Press, New Delhi, pp 402Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bagchi S, Goyal SP, Sankar K (2003) Prey abundance and prey selection by tigers (Panthera tigris) in a semi-arid, dry deciduous forest in western India. J Zoo Lond 260:285–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Karanth KU, Sunquist ME (1992) Population structure, density and biomass of large herbivores in the tropical forests of Nagarhole, India. J Trop Ecol 8:21–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Jain P (2001) Project Tiger Status Report, Project Tiger, MoEF, New Delhi, Govt., of IndiaGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    MacKinnon K, Mishra H, Mott J (1999) Reconciling the needs of conservation and local communities: global environment facility support for tiger conservation in India. In: Siedensticker J, Christie S, Jackson P (eds) Riding the tiger: tiger conservation in human dominated landscapes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp 307–315Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rogders WA, Panwar HS (1988) Planning a Wildlife Protected Area Network in India. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, Uttrakhand, India, pp 339Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Sankar K (1994) Ecology of three large sympatric herbivores (chital, sambar, nilgai) with special reference to the reserve management in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan. PhD Thesis. University of Rajasthan. Jaipur, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Chauhan DS, Harihar A, Goyal SP, Qureshi Q, Lal P, Mathur VB (2005) Estimating leopard population using camera traps in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India, p 23Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Sankar K, Qamar Qureshi, Krishnendu Mondal, Worah D, Srivastava T, Gupta S et al. (2008) Ecological studies in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan. Final Report. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, p 145Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Sankar K, Goyal SP, Qureshi Q (2005) Assessment of status of tiger (Panthera tigris) in Sariska Tiger Reserve. A report submitted to the Project Tiger Directorate. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, p 39Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Sathyakumar S (1992) Food habits of leopard (Panthera pardus) on Mundanthurai plateau, Tamil Nadu, India. Tiger Paper 21:8–9Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Chellam R (1993) Ecology of the Asiatic lion Panthera leo persica. PhD Thesis, Saurashtra University. Rajkot, Gujarat, IndiaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krishnendu Mondal
    • 1
  • Shilpi Gupta
    • 1
  • K. Sankar
    • 1
  • Qamar Qureshi
    • 1
  1. 1.Wildlife Institute of IndiaDehradunIndia

Personalised recommendations