We work in partnership with the Maharashtra Forest Department and with help from other Indian states and their respective Forest Departments.
Not far from Mumbai (Bombay), in the Western state of Maharashtra, Wildlife SOS is working to help individual leopards in need of temporary or life-time care, while contributing to the conservation of the imperiled Indian leopard population on one of the most heavily human populated and dominated landscapes in the world.
THE PLIGHT OF THE INDIAN LEOPARD (Panthera pardus fusca)……….
In the last two decades, approximately 3000 leopards were poached in India, which is far more than the numbers of leopards poached in adjoining Nepal and China and Tibet combined. Soon the widespread and highly adaptable Indian leopard may disappear from protected areas, the only places they can find refuge today.
In fact, the Indian leopard, which was classified as Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN 2008) may be reclassified as Vulnerable. When scrub jungle habitat in regions of India began to disappear, so too did the leopards’ prey base, which is comprised of large and small mammals and even birds and reptiles. But poaching has certainly taken its toll on the Indian leopard population.
In many cases, agricultural development forces these magnificent predators to turn to domestic livestock for food. Such changes in landscape place, even the highly adaptable leopard, in direct competition with humans. Unfortunately, such circumstances ultimately lead to negative interactions with people, commonly referred to as human-leopard conflict or human-wildlife conflict.