Project Snow Leopard

GOAL: To safeguard and conserve India’s unique natural heritage of high altitude wildlife populations and their habitats by promoting conservation through participatory policies and actions.

DRAFTED BY: Project Snow Leopard Committee instituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

LOCATION: All biologically important landscapes in the Himalayan high altitudes in the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The endangered snow leopard occurs over most of the high altitudes of Central Asia and Himalaya. Little is known about the species’ ecology, status and even distribution. The coarse global population estimate for the snow leopard is 7,400 individuals, and the species is classified as Endangered in the IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List.
  • The total potential habitat of the snow leopard globally is estimated to be 2 million km2, with most animals occurring in China, followed by Mongolia and India.
  • India is believed to have between 400 and 700 snow leopards in the five Himalayan states (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh), though these estimates are not precise.
  • Under this project, a globally unique, setting up of a field-based snow leopard research and conservation facility in the Spiti Valley has been proposed, to undertake India’s first comprehensive and long-term radio–collaring project on snow leopards and their prey. The only other such facility in Asia is the one set up by the Snow Leopard Trust, together with other partners and the Mongolian Government.
When this Scheme was started?
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India, had initiated work on a flagship Snow Leopard Scheme in 1988, but it could not be launched. In 2004, the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) began a consultative process in all the five Himalayan states ( Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh) to assess the need and scope for initiating Project Snow Leopard.
What was its Goal?
The goal of the project was articulated as “To safeguard and conserve India’s unique natural heritage of high altitude wildlife populations and their habitats by promoting conservation through participatory policies and actions.” 
What are its Objectives?
Some of its Objectives are:
  1. Facilitate a landscape-level approach to wildlife conservation
  2. Promote better understanding and management of human-wildlife conflicts
  3. Develop a framework for wildlife conservation outside protected areas and promote ecologically responsible development
  4. Promote a knowledge-based approach to conservation and an adaptive framework for wildlife management
  5. Promote local capacity, conservation education and awareness.
What in Himachal Pradesh?
In Himachal Pradesh, the areas included under the scope of the Project Snow Leopard (above 3000 m) are Lahaul, Spiti, Pangi, Kinnaur, Upper Chamba (especially Bharmour), Upper Kangra (Bara Bhangal), Upper Kullu (Mantalai, Pin Parvati, upper Great Himalayan NP, upper Manali), and Upper Simla (Rupi Bhabha, Dodra Kwar). The Wildlife Wing, Himachal Pradesh Forest Department (HPFD), and the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore (NCF) have been leading some of the efforts of both research and conservation in the Snow leopard range in Spiti.
Inputs from: Snow Leopard Project
About Rahul Dhatwalia 67 Articles
Rahul loves to read article on internet, He crawls over whole net for interesting and unknown facts. He is presently working in Public Sector Bank. In Leisure time He loves to play guitar, produce music and watching movies.

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