More

    Environment Minister Releases Status Report of Snow Leopards in India

    EnvironmentAnimals and wildlifeEnvironment Minister Releases Status Report of Snow Leopards in...
    - Advertisment -

    Environment Minister Releases Status Report of Snow Leopards in India

    The Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India systematically covered over 70 per cent of the potential snow leopard range in the country, involving forest and wildlife staff, researchers, volunteers, and contributions from knowledge partners.

    Union Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav released the report on the Status of Snow leopards in India during the National Board for Wildlife meeting held in New Delhi today. The Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI) Programme is the first-ever scientific exercise that reports Snow leopard population of 718 individuals in India.

    The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is the National Coordinator for this exercise that was carried out with support the support of all snow leopard range states and two conservation partners, the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysuru and WWF-India.

    According to the Wildlife Institute of India, Project Snow Leopard, a national project for conservation of high altitude Himalayan wildlife, will address a very important and urgent need to promote conservation efforts this biologically, socially, and nationally significant landscape. Project Snow Leopard, by focusing on one biologically important landscape in the first five years in each state, aims to demonstrate on-ground conservation in a time-bound manner, and, at the same time, to draw lessons from successes and limitations of the initial effort to enable better informed programmes in the other sites to be undertaken in the next phase.

    The Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI) systematically covered over 70 per cent of the potential snow leopard range in the country, involving forest and wildlife staff, researchers, volunteers, and contributions from knowledge partners. Covering approximately 120,000 square kilometres of crucial Snow leopard habitat across the trans-Himalayan region, including Ladakh, J & K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, the SPAI exercise was conducted from 2019 to 2023 using a meticulous two-step framework.

    - Advertisement -

    The first step involved evaluating Snow leopard spatial distribution, incorporating habitat covariates into the analysis, aligning with the guidelines of the National population assessment of snow leopards in India by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in 2019. This systematic approach included assessing the spatial distribution through an occupancy-based sampling approach in the potential distribution range. In the second step, Snow leopard abundance was estimated using camera traps in each identified stratified region.

    During the SPAI exercise, total efforts included 13,450 km of trails surveyed for recording Snow leopard signs, while camera traps were deployed at 1,971 locations for 180,000 trap nights. The Snow leopard occupancy was recorded in 93,392 square kilometres area, with an estimated presence in 100,841 square kilometres area. A total of 241 unique Snow leopards were photographed. Based on data analysis, the estimated population in different states are as follows: Ladakh (477), Uttarakhand (124), Himachal Pradesh (51), Arunachal Pradesh (36), Sikkim (21), and Jammu and Kashmir (9).

    Until recent years, the snow leopard range in India was undefined due to a lack of extensive nationwide assessments for this vulnerable species. Before 2016, approximately one-third of the range received minimal research attention, reduced to just 5 per cent in pockets like Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh. Recent status surveys have significantly increased understanding, providing preliminary information for 80 per cent of the range (about 79,745 square kms), compared to 56 per cent in 2016. To gather robust information on Snow leopard numbers, the SPAI exercise surveyed habitats using a substantial network of camera traps.

    The report also mentions the need for establishing a dedicated Snow Leopard Cell at WII under the MoEFCC is proposed, with a primary focus on long-term population monitoring, supported by well-structured study designs and consistent field surveys. Consistent monitoring is essential to ensuring Snow leopards’ long-term survival. For the same, states and UTs can consider adopting a periodic population estimation approach (every 4th year) in the Snow leopard range. These regular assessments will offer valuable insights for identifying challenges, addressing threats, and formulating effective conservation strategies.

    With its inclusive and participatory approach to conservation that fully involves local communities, conservationists, conservation scientists, and the civil society, the project’s approach of local involvement on the one hand and strong protection on the other, and its strong emphasis on rigorous science and monitoring, Project Snow Leopard aims to set up model conservation programmes which would achieve wildlife conservation alongside broad-based public support for conservation.

    - Advertisement -

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Latest news

    Alliance for Global Good – Gender Equity and Equality: Logo and Website Launched

    The Alliance is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and anchored by the CII Centre for Women...

    SDGs in Asia – Mind the Widening Gap

    Asia Pacific now seriously lagging on all 17 SDGs. The region is reversing on climate action, stagnant on clean...

    Climate Change will Further Strain the Resilience of Small Farmers

    The unsustainable nature of farming operations and the escalating climate change have worsened the situation of the Indian farmer....

    Pakistan’s Election Outcomes Leave Many Unhappy

    Given these constraints, and the near impossibility of holding physical rallies, PTI used online opportunities. Khan kept up a...
    - Advertisement -

    Security Council Hears Gaza Famine ‘Almost Inevitable’ Unless Aid is Massively Scaled Up

    Some Council members proposed action plans to potentially end hostilities beginning with an immediate ceasefire and hostage releases while...

    Universal Connectivity Gets a $9 Billion Private Sector Boost

    ITU has called for $100 billion in overall investments by 2026 to provide the expertise and resources required to...

    Must read

    Alliance for Global Good – Gender Equity and Equality: Logo and Website Launched

    The Alliance is supported by the Bill & Melinda...

    SDGs in Asia – Mind the Widening Gap

    Asia Pacific now seriously lagging on all 17 SDGs....
    - Advertisement -

    More from the sectionRELATED
    Recommended to you