Ecology and Conservation of Common Leopard (Panthera Pardus)

Need for Human-Leopard Co-existence in and around Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal.

Project highlight

Principal investigator: Saurav Lamichhane

Location: Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal

Grant support: The Rufford Foundation

Team members: Tank Rawal, Kabita Das

Nepal’s mid-hill ecosystem includes a top predator, the leopard, and a significant source of human-wildlife conflict. To put successful conflict management strategies into practice, it is crucial to have every aspect of information about conflict species. This project is a continuation of previous Rufford work. Understanding the social, as well as ecological dimension of human-wildlife conflict is important for effective conflict management strategies. In the first Rufford grant, our study was entailed mainly to understand the social dimension of HLC along with conservation awareness activities in local community. In this project, our major focus will be identifying the ecological correlates such as occupancy and diet composition of conflict species.

The following objectives guide the project:

  1. Information on common leopard occupancy and associated covariates will be obtained.
  2. The diet composition of the common leopard will be understood, thereby the livestock contribution in the diet as well.
  3. Knowledge of local herders on leopard conservation and HLC mitigation measures will be improved.
  4. School children will be made aware on leopard conservation and conflict mitigation measures.
  5. Findings of the project will be disseminated to the conservation authorities with far-reaching implications for the conservation of common leopards in the area.

The project’s findings are anticipated to contribute to more efficient efforts in reducing HLC and fostering coexistence between humans and leopards. Moreover, the conservation awareness program to the local herders and school children and knowledge gap addressed by this project will be crucial for better human-leopard co-existence in the area. To sum up, this research project will be crucial for the conservation of common leopards in the area. The data obtained will be crucial for conservation authorities to effectively plan conflict management strategies, and in particular to increase the knowledge and awareness among the local herders on leopard conservation while minimizing the conflict.

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Rarely naturalized, but widespread and even invasive: the paradox of a popular pet terrapin expansion in Eurasia

Rarely naturalized, but widespread and even invasive: the paradox of a popular pet terrapin expansion in Eurasia

Authors:     Andrey N. Reshetnikov, Marina G. Zibrova, Dinçer Ayaz, Santosh Bhattarai, Oleg V. Borodin  et. al.


Rusty-Spotted Cat Conservation initiatives in Western Terai Landscape, Nepal

Project Highlight

Principal Investigator: Dipendra Adhikari

Location: Shuklaphanta National Park, its buffer zone and adjoining forests in Sudoorpaschim Province.

Grant Support: Panthera’s Small Cat Action Fund 


Rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) is the smallest wild cat in the world. It is categorized as Vulnerable in IUCN Red List.  Among 12 other wild cat species in Nepal; it is sympatric with large carnivores in both Protected and non-protected forests in Nepal’s Terai. This species in Nepal needs conservation and research attention. According to the IUCN Assessment information (2016), the current population is decreasing and there is no clear estimate of how many rusty-spotted cats are thriving in the wild. With support from Panthera’s the Small Cat Action Fund, this project will be implemented in Sudoorpaschim Province primarily on buffer zone community forest of Shuklaphanta National Park including national forest patches of Kanchanpur district. The project area lies at the far west plain of Nepal.

The project’s goal is to sensitize communities of buffer zone and people living in the edge of national forests to conserve Rusty spotted cat and their habitats. The key activities of the projects are:

  1. Biological monitoring of Rusty-spotted cat: recording indirect signs questionnaire survey, focus group discussion will be deployed across strategic locations and will be extensively surveyed in hotspot area.
  2. Threats identification: Threats include habitat loss and degradation, depletion of natural prey base, competition with other large carnivores such as tigers, leopards, and golden jackals.
  3. Conservation outreach: Interaction programs with local people, forest and park officials, Community Forest Users, journalists and security personnel about status, distribution, threats, and role of rusty spotted cat in