Up to 30 snow leopards in Kibber wildlife sanctuary of Spiti
The dwindling numbers of snow leopards were shown a ray of hope when a forest guard’s camera revealed images of a mother and her two cubs in the tribal Lahaul-Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh. The previous count of snow leopards were about 25-30 in the Spiti district’s Kibber wildlife sanctuary, with the the felines being as vulnerable in the IUCN red list of threatened species, with the global population estimated to be less than 10,000 (approximately 4500 to 8700) mature cats. A decline of 10% is predicted for the next 23 years. The captured images of an entire family of snow leopards signify a building up of the population in Spiti valley, especially for the fact that snow leopards were rarely spotted in the region despite proof of their presence. South zone chief conservator of forests(wildlife), Mr S K Kapta hailed the news of the sighting and informed that his department has signed an MOU with Nature Conservation Foundation to conduct a survey to ascertain the exact figure of the population of snow leopards in Himachal Pradesh, especially in the snow leopard landscape of the state including the right bank of the Satluj as well as the right and left banks of the Chandrabhaga river and the Spiti valley. The Himalayan Snow Leopard Research Centre in Kibber encouraged this research by instituting some focused studies(both short and long term) to aid in research and conservation of snow leopards.
— As reported by Times of India
Photo Credit: TOI