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 elusive, 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.
Sanjay Gubbi is a scientist, conservationist and writer. His work integrates science, and contemplative studies of the natural world and society. His conservation work has been consistently of the highest quality and exhibits an infectious enthusiasm that few in the country have been able to match. Working on leopards has been central to his research work. The complex and ambivalent world of leopards is sometimes marked by horrifying tension between humankind and the natural world. This, he writes about in a sharply observant style, lucidly and at times wittily. Gubbi holds a doctorate in leopard ecology and conservation. Along with his scholarly research, Gubbi has also written extensively in the popular press. A self-taught conservationist, he was the winner of the Whitley Award (popularly known as the Green Oscars) in 2017. He was listed as one of 'Tomorrow's 25 Leaders' by the Times of India and is the recipient of the Co-existence Award, the Carl Zeiss Conservation Award and various others.