The image was released by by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under Project Snow Leopard.
Here is the 1st on Snow Leopard in one of its last known habitat. The state forest department of Uttarakhand state (with cover of greater Himalayas) of India with help of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) found its first Snow Leopard by the virtue of a camera trap in the Malari region of the greater Himalayas. Malari falls under the Nandadevi Biosphere reserve and is a reserved forest region. The news comes as a great relief of the state forest department as the Snow Leopards were almost extinct from the region. Local farmers and nomadic shepherd have known to poach the cat for good prices of its skin and bone, bringing it on the brink of extinction.
One of the many camera traps installed by the team of WII and state forest department captured the elusive image of Snow Leopard. The region was tipped as a habitat with high density of Leopard but those claims turned out to be incorrect. After several other clipping of Himalayan Tahr, Ibex (Bharal), Marmot and Musk Deer finally there was this cat on the camera. It was indeed a moment of joy for those who are really concerned about the status of this ghost of the mountains.
The image of the cat is breakthrough news of the local forest department as well. The legends of this cat know as ‘Him Tendua’ in Hindi has been part of stories and folklore since time immemorial. Although I heard many a stories from villagers and nomads it was the first time a conclusive evidence was reported in the state where I live.
Congrats to the SLN fraternity. Hope we get many more evidence like these.
Thanks to Yogendra Joshi for this posting. 19Apr11.