Snow leopard spotted in upper reaches of Kashmir

Finding brings hope as the great cat reacts quickly to habitat disturbances

GN Bureau | November 5, 2022


#Nature   #environment   #wildlife   #Kashmir   #snow leopard  
The snow leopard trapped in camera (Image copyright: Munib Khanyari/NCF)
The snow leopard trapped in camera (Image copyright: Munib Khanyari/NCF)

Snow leopard, the elusive great cat, has finally been spotted in Kashmir, bringing cheers to the conservation community.

Researchers from Nature Conservation Foundation have recorded images of snow leopard in the upper Baltal-Zojila region, says Munib Khanyari, program manager, NCF, in a press brief issued Saturday.

Snow leopard surveys usually focus on the neighbouring areas of Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, not Kashmir. However, the department of wildlife protection of Jammu and Kashmir has been conducting surveys with partner NGOs, to understand presence and abundance of snow leopards under the Snow Leopard Population Assessment of India (SPAI) project funded by the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change. NCF is a partner in the project.
 
This iconic and culturally treasured great cat is a good indicator species as it quickly reacts to habitat disturbances and its successful conservation requires sustainable long-term systemic solutions to the threats impacting the quality of habitats.

This finding brings renewed hope to Kashmir and its high-altitude regions, as the presence of the snow leopard can be used as a conservation flagship to address high-mountain development issues for people and the environment. In coming days more such findings from the ongoing surveys are expected from these landscapes.

The camera trapping exercise also revealed other important and rare species such as Asiatic ibex, Brown Bear and Kashmir Musk Deer, besides Incredible information regarding other biodiversity components of such habitats, interactions and threats will be documented in the shape of a final report.
 
Various teams have been conducting surveys across an area of nearly 12,000 sq km in Jammu and Kashmir for a few years now covering Gurez, Thajwas, Baltal-Zojila, Warwan, and Kishtwar landscapes. There is extremely limited evidence of snow leopard occurrence across the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Apart from Khanyari, the team involved in the camera trapping included Aashiq Dar (Tangmarg- Baramula), Aijaz Raina (Sarbal, near Sonamarg), Tanzin Thuktan (Kibber, Himachal Pradesh), Rinchen Tobge (Kibber, Himachal Pradesh) and Kesang Chunit (Kibber, Himachal Pradesh). They were supported extensively by the staff of the Department of Wildlife Protection and the research associates under the guidance and support from Suresh Kumar Gupta, IFS, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife)/chief wildlife warden, and Rashid Y Naqash, regional wildlife warden – Kashmir.

Comments

 

Other News

What exactly is the true purpose of business?

Invaluable By Somik Raha IndiePress, 316 pages, Rs 701 From coding at age 12 to a deep dive into philoso

Yoga Day has changed perceptions about it in ten years: PM

The expanding awareness of Yoga over the past ten years has changed perceptions associated with it, prime minister Narendra Modi said in Srinagar on Friday on the occasion of the International Day of Yoga.   “Yoga is now emerging beyond limited boundaries. The world is witnessing t

Listening to tomorrow: The imperative for youth-driven data in India

Over a decade and a half ago when I was still a student, millennials felt the burning need to break down the barriers of gatekeeping in traditional media. Young voices, brimming with ideas and opinions, were often sidelined, their perspectives deemed too marginal or unrefined for mainstream discourse. This

Israel-Palestine War: Lessons from Past Peace Efforts

Israel-Palestine War: Give Peace a Chance By Dr. Joseph K. Thomas IndiePress, 243 pages, Rs 399 T

How inner work helps subvert painful narratives

Unashamed By Neha Bhat HarperCollins, 240 pages, Rs 499   * How do I connect better with my partner? *&nbs

Heatwave spikes power demand: measures taken to ensure supply

The Northern Region has been experiencing high power demand conditions due to a prevailing heat wave since May 17. Despite these challenging conditions, the highest ever peak demand of 89 GW in the Northern Region was successfully met on June 17. This achievement was made possible by import

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter