Survey Finds Rare Himalayan Wildlife in Northern India

Snow leopards were among the many rare species photographed in Kinnaur, India. Snow Leopard by Cloudtail the Snow Leopard. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) has launched an impressive campaign to determine how many snow leopards (Panthera uncia) remain in the wild. As part of this effort, they teamed up with local partners to survey Kinnaur – a rugged landscape in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The results were more than satisfying.

The SLT, Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), Himachal Pradesh Forest Department, and Kinnaur Forest Division worked together to place camera traps throughout the region. They revealed snow leopards, brown bears (Ursus arctos), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis), jungle cats (Felis chaus), Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica), and more. This indicates a healthy mountain ecosystem, which is becoming increasingly uncommon due to climate change and other threats. As such, this survey’s findings are worth celebrating. They are important for scientific reasons as well.

Around the world, less than 2% of the snow leopard’s range has been systematically surveyed. This makes it extremely difficult to estimate how many of these beautiful cats remain in the wild, and whether or not their global populations are stable. The SLT is trying to fix that by embarking on a five-year venture to assess at least 10% of the snow leopard’s known range. Using rigorous scientific methods, their goal is to be able to paint a more accurate picture of how this species is faring. This, in turn, will make for more effective conservation.

Click Here for the Original Article from the Snow Leopard Trust

Also, I’m now back in northern California. Ironically, the Himalayas featured prominently during my last two weeks in Belize. I know that doesn’t make sense, but it’s true. Be sure to stay posted to read about this and other adventures I had during my recent trip to Belize.

21 Thoughts

    1. I really, really want to work in the Himalayas. I’d love to learn more about how the local people view the mountains and the creatures that live there. It seems to me that Westerners often conceptualize mountains as things to be “conquered:” especially Everest. I think this goes back to ancient Germanic ideas of immortality being achieved through great deeds. But I know that many Native American peoples viewed all elements of a landscape, including mountains, as living beings. I wonder what the perspective of Himalayan peoples is.


      1. Some people here too look at the mountains as a living thing, stating that the forests in the mountains have their own rules, any one who doesn’t follow them is punished. Some horror movies have also been made on it.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. The ones who stay in hilly regions are extremely cautious with surroundings around them.
            There are land slides and sudden rise in water level at any moment. So they don’t casually enjoy the views like tourists, they are rather deciplined about their timings and other routines.

            This one time we were at high altitude.
            Our tourist van had to drive over a water fall. It looked very risky as almost only a meter away on our left side, the road had ended. A few hundred meters below was another river.

            So everyone in van was quite worried. Our driver also looked very worried.

            But for a different reason. It was already 7pm. The time herds of elephants come down from the forests above and cross this area.

            So basically you don’t know from where what trouble can come from.

            Liked by 1 person

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