In the leopard family, India is blessed to be home to three important big cats namely the Indian leopard, Himalayan snow leopard and Clouded leopard. All these three big cats along with the Asiatic Lion and Royal Bengal Tiger are the prime gems of the Indian wildlife. These three big cats have also been declared as threatened species by IUCN due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching and illegal selling of skin. Thus, the Indian government along with wildlife enthusiasts haven’t left any stone unturned in order to protect this wonderful animal in India. These majestic cats can be seen prowling across the jungles of the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of India where they are given proper protection and care.


Scientific Name Panthera pardus fusca
Local NameTendwa & Chita (Hindi), Karda & Bibalya wagh (Marati), Chirate & Siwamgi (Kannada), Chirutai (Tamil), Puli Poolee (Malayalam)
StatusNearly threatened
SpeciesPanthera pardus
Weight35 – 55 kg
Body Size125 to 142 cm with tail size of 76 cm to 91 cm.
Males are larger and heavier than females.
ColorYellow to yellowish brown or golden with dark spots that fade under the belly and are very prominent on the back and around the lumbs.
DietCarnivorous. They feed on rodents, wild boars, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, monkeys, deer, impalas, reed-bucks, Thomson's gazelles, jackals, baboons, and storks. It can even hunt dog and canines.
HabitatTropical rain forests, dry deciduous forests, temperate forests and northern coniferous forests.
LifespanBetween 12 to 17 years
Population of Indian LeopardAn estimated 12000-14,000 leopards for all of India, based on 2015 national census. Derived from a figure of 7,910 leopards present in and around tiger forests of 13 states
Found In IndiaRanthambore National Park
Sariska Tiger Reserve
Jim Corbett National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park
Kanha National Park
Conservation ActMany national parks in India are safe havens for the Indian leopard with armed men guarding them.


Scientific Name Panthera uncia 
StatusEndangered in IUCN Red List
SpeciesPanthera uncia
Weight27 – 55 kg with large male reaching 75 kg
Body Size75 to 150 cm with tail size of 80 cm to 100 cm.
Males are larger and heavier than females.
ColorTheir thick fur is snowy gray with yellowish tan and white underparts. The stocky body is covered with big black or dark brown rosettes and the head is covered with similar spots.
DietCarnivorous. They are opportunistic hunters and feed on bharal, Himalayan tahr, markhor, argali, horse, and camel, hares, ibex, birds, red panda, wild boars, langur monkeys, rodents, marmots, deer and gorals.
HabitatThe Indian Himalayas in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. In summer they live above the tree line and in winter they travel down to forests and meadows.
Total Area of Habitat75,000 square kms
LifespanBetween 15 to 18 years
Population of Himalayan Snow Leopard200 to 600
Mating SeasonBetween January and mid – March.
Found In IndiaHemis National Park, Ladakh
Rumbak Valley of Ladakh
Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh
Conservation ActProject Snow leopard was launched in 2009 with the aim of facilitating focused conservation and recovery programmes for this endangered species. Conservation education programmes are also being held in various parts of Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh in order to bring awareness of the importance of snow leopard in Indian eco system.


Scientific Name Neofelis nebulosa 
StatusNearly threatened
Weight11 – 23 kg. relatively thicker tail
Body Size55 to 110 cm.
ColorEarth Brown in color and they have cloud markings all over the body.
DietCarnivorous and an excellent climber. They feed on deer, goats, wild pigs, reptiles, birds, monkeys, squirrels and wild boar. It mainly haunts at night.
HabitatTropical forests, grass, shrublands in the foothills of the mountains.
LifespanBetween 11 to 17 years
Found In IndiaManas National Park, Assam
Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
Phawngpui National Park, Mizoram
Dibru – Saikhowa National Park, Assam
Buxa National Park, West Bengal
Sipahijola Wildlife Sanctuary, Tripura
Conservation ActMany national parks in India are safe havens for the Indian leopard with armed men guarding them.
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