News:At the session of Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection (GSLEP) programme,as many as 12 range countries have come together to begin a massive exercise to get the global count of Snow leopards.This will be the first ever survey by India to assess the population of Snow leopard.
About Snow Leopard:
- Snow leopards (Panthera uncial) belong to the family of cats called Felidae.
- The snow leopard’s fur is whitish to gray with black spots on head and neck, but larger rosettes on the back, flanks and bushy tail.
- Snow leopards are found in 12 range countries namely Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.China contains as much as 60% of all snow leopard habitat areas.
- In India,snow leopards are found in the high altitude areas above the forested areas above 3000m.
- The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh constitute snow leopard Habitat range in India.
- Snow leopard is the State animal of Himachal Pradesh.It is also the National Heritage Animal of Pakistan.
- Snow leopards are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- They are also listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).
- Government of India has also identified the snow leopard as a flagship species for the high altitude Himalayas.
About Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme:
- It is a joint initiative of range country governments, international agencies, civil society, and the private sector.
- Its goal is to secure the long-term survival of the snow leopard in its natural ecosystem.
- It also seeks to address high-mountain development issues using the conservation of the snow leopard as a flagship.