One of the large carnivores with a highly adaptive nature, the Leopard (Panthera pardus) often resides undaunted in close proximity to human-use landscapes, sometimes leading to conflicts. Due to human persecution and habitat modifications, leopards are confined to forested tracts and agricultural landscapes, in almost all the States in India.
- WCS – India has been studying the ecology, behavior, distribution and population dynamics of leopards since 1986. An in-depth study of a landscape-level assessment of the distribution of leopards has been conducted in the Karnataka part of the Western Ghats and in Maharashtra. WCS – India applies state-of-the-art population estimation techniques to rigorously assess the current population status of leopards to understand its population dynamics in high density habitats.
- WCS – India Research Associate, Dr. Vidya Athreya, the recipient of Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award in 2011 and TN Khoshoo Memorial Award in 2012, has convened cutting-edge research on leopard ecology in human-use landscapes. She also works with the Maharashtra Forest Department to ease the conflict between leopards and humans in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Mumbai.