Snow leopard population increases in Nepal’s Kanchanjunga Conservation Area (KCA)

Snow leopard population increases in Nepal
Xinhua, November 11, 2010

The population of snow leopard inside Kanchanjunga Conservation Area (KCA) in northeastern Nepal has gone up with the introduction of livestock insurance program that indemnifies domesticated animals against the attack of the large wild cat.

According to Wednesday’s The Kathmandu Post daily, KCA management had launched the insurance program two years ago to discourage villagers from killing snow leopards in the name of protecting their cattle. The campaign was successful and effective in limiting snare-deaths of snow leopards, listed as an endangered species.

“We don’t have any incident of a snow leopard being killed these days which is a good news for these animals,” said Himali Chundak, president of Snow Leopard Conservation Committee.

Currently, there are at least 45 snow leopards in KCA. The last year’s census had put the animal’s population at 32.

“The growth in the population of snow leopard is definitely due to the insurance policy, no doubt about it,” said Sujit Kumar Shrestha, manager of Kanchanjunga Conservation Area Project.

Earlier, villagers used to set up snares to capture and kill these protected wild cats to exact revenge for killing their cattle.

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