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Snow Leopard Research Centre to be launched in Himachal, India

Snow leopard habitat Indian Himalayas

Spiti Valley in north Indian Himalayas, home to snow leopards. A Snow Leopard Research Centre is to be established to protect the cat and it's habitat. Map Wikipedia.

It’s likely that India’s first high-altitude research centre for studying snow leopards will be situated in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh in north India. The Centre will be in the Kibber plateau of Spiti valley, and will be set up jointly with the National Conservation Foundation.

Sanjeeva Pandey, Chief Wildlife warden, is optimistic saying “comprehensive study on snow leopards will be conducted, including research on the prey base of snow leopards.” One of the snow leopard’s main prey is the blue sheep (also known as bharal). Unfortunately blue sheep are often attacked by stray dogs whose population has been growing in the area.

Snow leopard country, Spiti Valley north India.

The dry and remote region of Spiti Valley, soon to have a Snow Leopard Research Centre. Snow leopard numbers are decreasing because their prey, the blue sheep is decreasing by being attacked by wild dogs.

A recent survey found only about 500 blue sheep where previously there would have been thousands. The Centre plans to restrict the population of stray dogs in the habitats of snow leopards to help the blue sheep numbers increase.

Another role for the Centre is research on the actual numbers of snow leopards still there. Recently the Wildlife department set up 25 trap cameras with sensors in different places in Spiti’s Kibber plateau but only five snow leopards could be located in an area of about 1,000 square kilometres. If the number of blue sheep increases it is hoped the number of snow leopards will increase also.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Parteek kumar July 19, 2010, 2:44 am

    i m a biotechnology student from punjab. i had a great sympathy to the animals.i am also be the part of u to save the animals from the human threats.

  • Kat Casey September 24, 2010, 9:10 am

    I am a middle school student and have been fascinated in snow leopards sense I was a little kid (around 4 or 5). I love how they are trying so hard to help the snow leopards they are such excellent t animals and I’m doing a paragraph in science about this so hopefully the word will get around and support the foundation.

  • Shivya April 12, 2011, 1:27 am

    Thanks for sharing the news. We shared it on our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/EcosphereIndia), dedicated to create awareness about responsible travel in Spiti and the region.

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