Himachal Pradesh takes steps to consolidate Snow Leopard Conservation
In a significant step to strengthen conservation of the Snow Leopard, the state animal of Himachal Pradesh, the wildlife department organized an intensive and constructive brain-storming session with snow leopard experts on Tuesday, 16th June, in Shimla. The workshop, chaired by the Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Avay Shukla, was attended by senior staff of the Wildlife Department, field staff from Spiti Wildlife Division, Snow Leopard experts from the Nature Conservation Foundation and the Snow Leopard Trust.
In this unique collaborative project, snow leopard experts are working closely with the senior wildlife officials to develop a good, participatory management plan for the Spiti landscape. In today’s meeting, results of painstaking research conducted over 4000 km2 by wildlife experts in the Upper Spiti Landscape was presented by snow leopard experts, and the structure of the management plan was laid out. There were spirited discussion on all aspects, and valuable inputs were provided by the wildlife officials.
As the next step, a combined team of Senior Wildlife officials and snow leopard experts will be visiting Spiti to conduct local consultations. The management plan is expected to be finalized over the next few months, and implemented with support of Project Snow Leopard, a recently approved programme of the Government of India.
The PCCF cum Chief Wildlife Warden Himachal Pradesh, Mr. A.K. Gupta, while giving valuable inputs during the discussions, also proposed a vote of thanks, appreciating the effort made so far in this unique project. The wildlife department is determined to set up a unique and participatory snow leopard conservation programme in
Some additional published information about the meeting:
Plan to conserve snow leopard Tribune News Service
Shimla, June 20
Wildlife experts and officers of the Forest Department have held discussions to finalise a management plan for the conservation of snow leopard under the national project being implemented in the Himalayan states. The snow leopard experts from the Nature Conservation Foundation and the Snow Leopard Trust, who have been studying the endangered cat in the state, were of the view that the cold
Spiti valley chosen for initiating Project Snow Leopard in Himachal
Posted: Friday , Mar 27, 2009 at 0142
As the pre-project stage gets underway in the state, the first-ever census of snow leopards is being conducted by the National Conservation Foundation (NCF), a non-government organisation. So far, only the head count of snow leopards is as per estimates, that put the numbers at around 400. After the snow leopard was identified as a highly endangered species in Himachal, over a year ago, the state government had taken an initiative to declare it as the state animal as it is the most important species of the mountain region and is at the apex of the ecological pyramid. Though its habitat is in the upper reaches (above 3,000 metres) of Himachal, one of the main issues to be tackled by conservationists would remain man-animal conflict and protection of the ecology of its natural habitat. “Conservation with community participation” is expected to be the focus of the project and resident communities as well as the nomadic communities such as Ban Gujjars would also be involved in sensitisation towards the conservation of the animal. Chief Wildlife Warden A K Gupta said, “The survey work of NCF in Spiti valley, where over 1,000 square metres of biological strategic landscape would be first identified for conservation, has started.” In a phased manner, the project would be extended to Pangi in Lahaul, Kinnaur, Bharmour in upper Chamba, Bara Bhangal in upper Kangra, Mantalai, Pin Parvati, upper great Himalayan National Park, upper Manali under upper Kullu and Rupi Bhabha and Dodra Kwar in upper Shimla district. Project Snow Leopard, launched by the Centre, would accord the snow leopard the same status of importance in areas of high altitude, as has been allotted to the tiger in the terrestrial landscape. Starting from village wildlife conservation committees and landscape-level implementation committees, the network of conservation would be headed by a state-level committee in which the wildlife department is contemplating involving all stakeholder departments such as agriculture, animal husbandry and horticulture.
Tribune News Service Shimla, July 13
Encouraged by the marginal increase in the number of snow leopards in Himachal, one of the biggest habitat of the endangered species, the Wildlife Department is in the process of launching a project for developing a conservation strategy to increase their population. For the implementation of the snow leopard project, the wildlife authorities are already in touch with the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mussorie. Even a marginal increase in the number of snow leopards from 32 to 35, during the latest census this year has encouraged the department to launch the project at the earliest. The fact that during the latest census undertaken in June, for the first time the mapping of the exact location of the snow leopard has been done, which will help in their conservation and increase in number. The habitat status analysis of the snow leopard will be done to identify the areas where it has been found in larger numbers. “During the recent census, our staff has recorded 24 snow leopards in Spiti, eight in Lahaul and Pangi and the three new animals have been sighted in the Parbati valley and Great Himalayan National Park in Kulu district,” informed Mr A.K. Gulati, Additional Principal Chief Conservator (Wildlife). Himachal apart from
One thought on “Himachal Pradesh takes steps to consolidate Snow Leopard Conservation”
Protect Snow Leopard
Posted by VoiceofSikkim on Jul 28th, 2009 and filed under Sikkim News.
FROM THE TRIBUNE – NEWS SHARED BY JTM-Even though the estimated population of the snow leopard in Himachal is barely 15, encouraged by spotting of the animal by locals as well as wildlife staff in Spiti the government has sent a Rs 1.50 crore action plan to the Centre for protecting the highly endangered animal.
It is in association with Mysore-based Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) that the Wildlife Department has prepared the action plan for undertaking a conservation project for the animal. The NCF is already in the process of undertaking management planning in the Spiti Valley for the formal launch of the project, which is awaiting central funding from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest.
Even though initiatives with regard to launch of the project snow leopard have been taken jointly as part of Trans-Himalayan collaboration between states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, Himachal has taken the lead by preparing an action plan and seeking funds for its formal launch.
Besides the NCF, the state wildlife authorities are also in touch with the Snow Leopard Conservation Trust. Sources said the Centre had agreed for the launch of the Snow Leopard Project in Himachal and it is only the formal approval that is awaited.
“Though there is no exact data, based on very broad estimation the figure of snow leopard in Himachal is around 15, so there is an urgent need to protect and conserve the endangered animal,” said KS Thakur, Conservator (Wildlife).
Trap cameras that have been installed in the area by the NCF team for the past some time have captured shots of the animal. Moreover, fresh droppings of the snow leopard in the area frequented by it are also a proof of its presence.
Forest officials point out that locals in areas like Kibber Valley in Spiti have reported recent sighting of the majestic animal, which is a confirmation about its presence in the area. “The fact that the cattle of the villagers have often been killed by a predator is a confirmation about the presence of snow leopard in the area as no other animal can be on the prowl at that height,” said an officer associated with the project.