SNOW LEOPARD (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     6th February 2024        
Samadhaan

Context:The Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI) has estimated a population of 718 in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Carried out between 2019 and 2023, this study is a major leap in our understanding of the keystone species .


Snow leopard:

  • About: Commonly known as the ounce, is a species of large cat in the genus Panthera of the family Felidae.
  • Keystone species: Snow leopard which has a large, disproportionate impact on its environment and holds its ecosystem together.
  • Habitat: High mountains.
  • Global Distribution: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • In India: Parts of the Himalayas such as Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Conservation Status:

oIUCN: Vulnerable.

oCITES: Appendix I.

oIndian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule-I.

  • Threat: Largely threatened because of the loss of natural prey species, retaliatory killing due to conflict with humans and illegal trade of its fur and bones.


Initiatives to protect Snow Leopard

  • Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme (GSLEP)
  • The SECURE Himalaya project
  • Project Snow Leopard (PSL)
Samadhaan