Elusive snow leopard spotted in Himachal wildlife sanctuary

• A snow leopard was spotted at a height of about 4,000 metres in Lippa-Asra wildlife sanctuary in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, a picture of which was captured by a camera-trap installed by the state wildlife department.

• The camera trap was installed in May this year, along with eight others at selected sites in the sanctuary after a preliminary survey.

• It was only last year that the snow leopard improved from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ in terms of conservation status.

• The recent findings have ascertained that snow leopards are inhabiting new areas.

Why is the spotting Important?

• It was only last year that the snow leopard improved from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ in terms of conservation status.

• The recent findings have ascertained that snow leopards are inhabiting new areas.

• In this survey, two brown bears were snapped through another camera-trap placed inside the sanctuary at an altitude of about 3200m.

Conservation of Snow Leopard in India

• Project Snow Leopard was launched in 2009

• It aims for strengthening wildlife conservation in the Himalayan high altitudes.

• It promoting a knowledge-based and adaptive conservation framework that fully involves the local communities, who share the snow leopard’s range, in conservation efforts.

• Snow leopards are also given the same protection as the tiger.

• It listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 – the highest protection afforded to a species.

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Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Prelims level: Lippa-Asra WLS, IUCN conservation status of the species

Mains level: Habitat Change of Snow Leopard

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