International Leopard Day is annually observed across the globe on May 3 to raise global awareness about the leopards (Panthera pardus) and their plight as well as the risks that leopard populations face.
- The day is observed to make people aware of the nocturnal big cat that is mostly found in the Indian subcontinent, Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southern Russia.
About Leopards (Panthera pardus):
i. Leopards (Panthera pardus) are the smallest of the big cats, among others.
ii. They are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with some subspecies classified as Critically Endangered.
iii. They occupy a myriad of habitats including deserts, forests, savannah, alpine areas, and even in proximity to highly populated urban centres.
i. Leopards have lost 63 – 75% of their historical distribution, despite their adaptability.
ii.Other key threats include prey depletion, conflict with people, unsustainable trophy hunting and poaching for body parts and skins.
Note: The Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the Mumbai Metropolitan Area has the highest documented leopard density in the world, with roughly 26 per 100 square kilometres
International Leopard Day 2023: Website dedicated to Rosette Cats Launched
On International Leopard Day (3 May 2023), the Cape Leopard Trust (CLT), active predator conservation working group, Panthera, a global wild cat organisation, and some other organisations launched a new portal “internationalleopardday.org” dedicated to leopards with an aim of promoting and honouring leopards all across the globe.
- The website portal was launched at the Global Leopard Conference held from 13-17 March 2023.
March 2023 marks the inaugural Global Leopard Conference.
- The conference brought together hundreds of researchers, students, conservationists and enthusiasts in the 1st-ever international gathering dedicated to the Leopard.
The aim of the website is to enable higher awareness, promotion and celebration of leopards globally.