A view of Shey-Phoksundo National Park/Image for Representation
KATHMANDU: The population of snow leopards has reached 90 in Shey-Phoksundo National Park, a survey carried out by government agencies and development partners revealed.
The counting of snow leopards was carried out through a systematic camera trap revealing that there are around 90 snow leopards in Shey-Phoksundo National Park with a population density of 2.2 snow leopards per 100 sq km.
“This is the first time a rigorous and scientific survey has been conducted in Shey-Phoksundo National Park. We need to continue our holistic conservation efforts to ensure that the communities and the Snow Leopards thrive together in the region. Managing a human snow leopard interface should be our priority,” said Dr Ghana Shyam Gurung, the Country Representative of WWF Nepal.
This survey was led by the national park with support from conservation partner WWF Nepal under the leadership of Nepal government.
Local community, scientists, young conservationists and other stakeholders also took part in the snow leopard counting.
This work has created a platform for estimating the snow leopard population in the country” said Dr Maheshwar Dhakal, Director General, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.
Snow leopards are a vulnerable, flagship species and are an indicator of healthy mountain ecosystems.
They face threats from wildlife crime, retributive killing, and climate change impacts on their habitats.
Moreover, they are among the least studied of the big cats of the world. The WWF, Nepal said that emerging figures are a testament to Nepal’s mountain community’s stewardship for snow leopard conservation, as well as decades of investments into the country’s efforts towards research and monitoring, human wildlife conflict management, anti-poaching effort, and habitat management.
“Improved security against wildlife crime, livestock insurance and relief schemes, and improved livelihoods of the community are all part of the holistic approach. Efforts continue under the leadership of Nepal to secure the sustainable future of snow leopards globally, to address these and other emerging challenges, the WWF, Nepal said issuing a statement.