News: Uttarakhand Government has announced the development of India’s first Snow Leopard Conservation centre of India.
- The centre is to be developed by the Uttarakhand forest department and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
- Aim: To conserve and restore Himalayan ecosystems and also to conserve elusive snow leopards and other endangered Himalayan species.
- Snow leopards live in the mountainous regions of central and southern Asia.
- Range Countries: Snow leopard is found in 12 range countries namely Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
- India: The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh constitute snow leopard Habitat range in India.
- IUCN Status: Vulnerable
- CITES: Appendix I
- Significance: Snow leopard is the State animal of Himachal Pradesh.