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Snow leopard in Kishtwar NP

10th May, 2024 Environment

Snow leopard in Kishtwar NP

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  • A team of four scientists from the University of Kashmir, Srinagar and the National Development Foundation, Jammu have captured four snow leopards on camera in Kishtwar High Altitude National Park of the Union territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir’s Chenab Valley region.


  • Camera Trapping Technique:
    • The snow leopards were captured on camera using the camera trapping technique, which involves strategically placing motion-sensor cameras in areas frequented by wildlife.
    • This non-invasive method allows researchers to study and monitor wildlife populations without directly disturbing their habitats.
  • Conservation Importance:
    • The sighting of snow leopards in Kishtwar National Park highlights the conservation significance of protecting their habitats and preserving biodiversity in the region.
    • It underscores the need for conservation efforts and sustainable management practices to ensure the survival of endangered species like the snow leopard.

Significance of the finding:

  • The sighting of four snow leopards in the Chenab Valley's Kishtwar National Park is significant as it marks the first time such a sighting has been captured on camera in this region.
  • Snow leopards are endangered big cats, making their sighting a rare and exciting event for conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts.
  • The sighting of snow leopards in Kishtwar National Park contributes to global efforts to conserve and protect this iconic species, which is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

About Snow leopard:

It is a Felidae (mammals in the order Carnivora) in the genus Panthera.

It is an apex predator and flagship species of High Mountain Asia.

Location and Habitat:

Snow leopards inhabit high-altitude mountainous regions, including the Himalayas, and are well adapted to survive in harsh environments with extreme cold and sparse vegetation.

Global distribution: snow leopards are found in 12 countries with the largest share in the Tibetan plateau of China, followed by Mongolia and India. Other countries include Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

India: Largely found in the high altitude cold, arid and rugged terrains of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

Challenges and Threats:

Snow leopards face various threats in the wild, including habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflict, and climate change impacts such as shrinking habitats and reduced prey availability.

Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

India is home to two per cent of the global range of the snow leopard.

Country has 718 snow leopards, most of whom live in areas that are not under legal protection.

Way ahead

  • Community Engagement:
    • Community involvement and support are crucial for successful conservation efforts, including raising awareness, promoting coexistence with wildlife, and implementing conservation policies.
    • Local communities play a vital role in conservation by contributing to habitat protection, wildlife monitoring, and sustainable livelihood practices.
  • Global Conservation Efforts:
    • International collaborations, research, and conservation initiatives are essential for addressing transboundary conservation challenges and ensuring the long-term survival of snow leopards and their habitats.

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Q. Consider the following statements about snow leopards in India:

1) They are primarily found in the high-altitude mountain ranges of Central Asia.

2) They are classified as endangered species according to the IUCN Red List due to factors such as poaching and habitat loss.

3) They are known for their distinctive black spots and rosettes on their fur, providing effective camouflage in their snowy habitat.

4) They are solitary animals, except during the mating season or when a female is raising cubs.

5) Snow leopards are a type of big cat belonging to the genus Panthera, along with lions, tigers, and leopards.

How many of the above statements is/are correct?

A.Only one

B.Only two

C. Only three

D. None

Answer: A