The Assam Forest Department has taken the initiative to count the leopards in the state. For the first time, a special leopard counting census has been started in forest and non-forest areas by the Northern Kamrup Forest Division in the leopard density areas of Amingaon in Kamrup district, beginning January 31.
According to sources, 50 cameras will be installed for the census at Sila Reserve Forest, Changsari and other places. Camera trapping will take place over a period of 24 weeks, with data extracted from each camera every seven days. Assam Forest Minister Parimal Shuklabaidya said on Twitter, “The 24-week camera trapping census will be the first of its kind in Assam.”
North Kamrup Forest Division has planned a one-week execution programme in this regard, during which camera traps will be verified, maps will be studied, in-depth discussions with senior forest officials and a volunteer participation plan will be developed. A field survey will be done and a target location will be chosen. After the complete strategy is decided, the work of camera trapping will start from February 7.
Till now, Assam does not know the population of leopards.
A report in 2020 revealed that the number of leopards in the country has also increased rapidly. According to the report of the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment, the number of leopards in India has reached 12,852. In the year 2014, there were 7,910 leopards in the country.
The report adds, from 2014 to 2020, there has been a 60 percent increase in the number of leopards. The census says, 3,421 leopards have been found in Madhya Pradesh, 1,783 in Karnataka and 1,690 in Maharashtra.