Snow Leopard

The snow leopard whose scientific name is Panthera uncia can be found in the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. On the IUCN Red List it has been listed under the vulnerable category as the global population is estimated to be less than 10,000 and it is expected to decline further by about 10% by 2040. Major threat to the population of the snow leopards comes from rampant poaching and also due to habitat destruction because of infrastructural developments.

Snow Leopard in India

Snow Leopards are rarely sighted and because it being elusive nature, the present population cannot be counted accurately. Although it can be estimated that they fall in the range of 450 to 500 individuals in India. In India, they can be found in the western Himalayas that includes the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern Himalayas.  The Government of India has identified the snow leopard as a flagship species of the Himalayas and to conserve the species and its habitats has launched a programme called Project Snow Leopard.

Project Snow Leopard

Project Snow Leopard was launched by the Government of India in the year 2009 with the goal to conserve snow leopards and their habitats. Under this project the local population as well as the government participation was planned so as to help in the conservation of the high altitude wildlife of India.

According to a recent report of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) 70% of the snow leopard habitat remains unsearched. Also, according to the report Nepal, India and China had conducted the most snow leopard research and they are followed by Mongolia and Pakistan.

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