International Leopard Day 2023:
International Leopard Day is a new annual event that was officialized on May 3, 2023, with the launch of a dedicated portal, “internationalleopardday.org” by the Cape Leopard Trust (CLT).
- Scientific Name Panthera pardus
- The leopard is the smallest of the Big Cats (Of genus Panthera namely the Tiger, Lion, Jaguar, Leopard, and Snow Leopard), and known for its ability to adapt in a variety of habitats
- It is a nocturnal animal (hunts by night).
- Melanism is a common occurrence in leopards, wherein the entire skin of the animal is black in colour, including its spots.
- A melanistic leopard is often called black panther or jaguar, and mistakenly thought to be a different species.
- It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in small parts of Western and Central Asia, on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia.
- In India As per a recent report ‘Status of leopards in India, 2018’ (by MoEFCC), there has been a “60% increase in the population count of leopards in India from 2014 estimates’’.
- It numbers nearly 13000 currently with the highest population in Madhya Pradesh> Karnataka> Maharashtr
- Conservation Status: IUCN Red List: Vulnerable. CITES: Appendix-I. Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule-I.