Leopard Diaries – The Rosette in India

Written by Sanjay Gubbi

Evolution is an exquisite artist, even if an unconscious one.’ – Eric Dinerstein

The leopard is perhaps one of the world’s most beautiful creatures. The spots on its body are even romantically called ‘rosettes’. It is social but solitary, inconspicuous but significant in numbers, large but ubiquitous, and does not fit any of the pigeonholes of large-cat conservation. In India, the leopard is a poster boy of the fight to preserve wildlife, but in many countries, it faces either ecological or local extinction. A worrying phenomenon, given that these cats carry out important ecosystem services that have not been fully understood yet.

In Leopard Diaries – The Rosette in India, Sanjay Gubbi, who has studied and documented the leopard for nearly a decade, gives us a close look at this fascinating creature. From detailing its food habits to throwing new light on how the young are reared, from offering suggestions on tackling leopard–human conflict to imagining the future of this arresting animal, this book is a 360-degree view of the leopard, its ecological context, its fraught relationship with the human world, and how wildlife and human beings can find a way to co-exist.

Luke Hunter Ph.D., Executive Director, Big Cats Program, Wildlife Conservation Society says about the book, “With over a billion people and more leopards than any other country in Asia, India is a fascinating test-case of humanity’s ability to live with large carnivores. Through the lens of rigorous science, Sanjay Gubbi shines a revealing light on this grand experiment, showing how both big cats and conservationists must navigate an intricate landscape of obstacles, setbacks, and danger. As the only researcher I know who has experienced first-hand the terrified fury of a leopard hemmed in by people, his narrative is unique. This is a captivating and valuable contribution to the growing literature on the leopard in India.”

The book has been published by Westland and is available in local bookstores and on Amazon.