Finding brings hope as the great cat reacts quickly to habitat disturbances
GN Bureau | November 5, 2022
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.
Calling for reforms in the Engineering Department of BMC, Mumbai Vikas Samiti, a not-for-profit organisation has said that less than optimum performance of Engineering Function has added to the woes of citizens and deterioration in the quality of life in the metro. In its recently released r
Hailing the Maharashtra government for introducing a bill to amend the Insecticide Act, 1968, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) India has called the amendments ‘very focussed’ and urged the state to expand their scope to address other challenges. The bill, introduced in the a
`Garba of Gujarat` has been inscribed in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity by UNESCO, under the provisions of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage during the 18th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of t
Since its inception, Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System has witnessed more than 12.77 lakh complaints registered (till November 15, 2023), and has saved more than Rs. 930 crore in more than 3.80 lakh complaints. This was stated by minister of state for home affair
Impacts and implications of Climate Change Vulnerability in the Himalayan Region and ways of creating ‘Climate Resilient Development in Indian Himalayan Region by making mountain communities green and resilient were discussed the side event hosted at the India pavilion at the UN Climate Conference CO
Air pollution in Delhi has been in headlines, as every year in recent times. Mumbai too has suffered from air pollution, despite being a coastal city. Apart from many other metros such as Bangalore and Kolkata, tier-I and -II cities and rural areas also have high pollution levels. Every year reports and st