Himachal carries out snow leopard census

Lata Verma Tags : snow leopard, conservation Posted: Friday , Dec 04, 2009 at 0021 hrs Shimla: Bringing cheer to conservationists and animal lovers, a census has found four to five highly endangered snow leopards on Kibber plateau in Himachal’s Lahaul Spiti district. The census, undertaken as part of the centrally sponsored project for conservation of snow leopard being implemented by NGO National Conservation Foundation (NCF), used camera traps to spot the animals. “Four to five snow leopards in this much area is globally accepted as good density for the animal. But we should not consider it as average density for every 100 sq km of the total 7000 sq km area in the district. It would vary because of many reasons,” Dr Yashveer Bhatnagar of the NCF said. The number of snow leopards in India is estimated between 400 and 700, Bhatnagar said. A parallel census of snow leopard’s prey base found around 400 Bharal and a “good number” of Himalayan Ibex around areas where snow leopards were spotted.