Environment & Biodiversity

In news—Snow Leopard

The first-ever snow leopard sighting from the Baltal-Zojila region has given the high-altitude regions of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh new hope for the elusive animal.

The number of snow leopards in J&K and Ladakh is unknown.

In Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the Snow Leopard Population Assessment of India (SPAI) has already been completed.

In these two States, there are 50 and 100 great cats, respectively, according to estimates.

Snow Leopard

The hilly areas of Central and Southern Asia are home to snow leopards.

Their geographic range in India includes the UTs of J&K and Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern Himalayas, as well as a significant portion of the western Himalayas.

In 2009, Project Snow Leopard was established to improve the protection of animals in the high altitudes of the Himalayas.

It seeks to provide a framework for conservation that is knowledge-based, flexible, and fully engages the local populations that share the snow leopard’s range.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List categorises the snow leopard as Vulnerable.

Additionally, the snow leopard is classified in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species along with all other big cats (CITES).

The Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 in India places the snow leopard on Schedule I, providing it the greatest level of protection possible.

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