WWF on Snow Leopard: More than 70% of habitat unexplored

The World Wildlife Fund recently claimed that more than 70% of snow Leopard habitats are unexplored. The organisation recently released its report “A spatially explicit review of the state of knowledge in the snow leopard range”.

Key Findings of the report

Most of the snow leopard researches have been conducted by Nepal, India and China followed by Mongolia and Pakistan. There could be only four thousand snow leopards left in the world. They are facing continuous threats due to increased habitat loss and degradation, conflict with communities and poaching.

Why only 70%? Why is 100% Exploration not possible?

As snow leopards live in rugged terrain, it is highly difficult to conduct researches on snow leopard and their habitat. That is why, till date their entire habitat remains unexplored.

First Snow Leopard Survey

On the International Snow Leopard Day (October 24), India launched the Snow Leopard Population Assessment in 2019. However, the survey is yet to be launched. Several state governments have launched local surveys such as Uttarkhand.

Snow Leopard conservation

  • IUCN: Vulnerable
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
  • CITES: Appendix I

Conservation of Snow Leopard

GSLEP: GSLEP is Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme. It was launched by twelve snow leopard range countries such as India, Nepal, China, Bhutan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Russia.

SECURE Himalaya: It is a Global Environment Facility-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded project.

Snow Leopards in India

In India, snow leopards are found in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir. These regions contribute to 5% of global snow leopard range. Government is running Project Snow Leopard since 2009.

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