Experts meet to discuss human-leopard conflict


New Delhi: A two-day workshop aimed at discussing a National Policy for Human-Leopard Conflict Management concluded today in New Delhi.

Shri. Namo Narain Meena, the Union Minister of State, MoEF inaugurated the workshop yesterday in the packed Conference Hall of the YWCA building.

Chief Wildlife Wardens of six states – Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Assam and eminent scientists who have been dealing with leopard conflicts participated in the discussion.

A draft National Policy on human-leopard conflict management is being prepared which will be presented to the government.

At the inaugural, the minister called for pragmatic solutions which can be useful in formulating and revisiting appropriate strategies for addressing the problem in India.”

“Perhaps, the most unfortunate part of the whole thing is fear, dislike and wider social insecurities it generates among the minds of people. I am aware that the problem is acute in these states.”

“As on now, capture and relocation of problematic animals is thought to be best mode of addressing this problem in India. But of late there are apprehensions against this practice, as these trans-located animals are reported to create the same problems in areas where they are released.” He said.

“The draft policy will be ready within a week’s time after incorporating all the recommendations made by the working groups at the workshop.” Dr. P. S. Easa, Sr. Director of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) said.

Though leopards are one of the most adaptable and widely distributed species, their population has declined over the last decade.

An estimated 50% of leopard’s total population in the country lives outside the Protected Areas (PA).

Habitat destruction, retaliatory killing by villagers, poaching, etc. is responsible for their population decline.

The workshop is jointly organized by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), WTI and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).