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Video cameras help first snow leopard census in Nepal.

Dr Som Ale searching for snow leopards in the rugged region of Mustang in western Nepal. Photo SLC.

The Kathmandu Post reported today that a census of snow leopard has started in Mustang district, a remote part of western Nepal which is believed to be snow leopard habitat.

“Conservationists say this is the first time a snow leopard census is being conducted in the country.
Nine video cameras have been installed in several areas, including Jomsom, Muktinath temple and Lubra, to count the endangered species. The moderately large cats are found along the northern frontiers in Nepal, mainly in Mustang, Mugu, Dolpa and Humla.

Snow leopard specialists Karan Shah and Dr. Som Ale and Rajkumar Gurung are part of the campaign initiated by National Trust for Nature Conservation, Annapurna Conservation Area Project and other organisations.

“The census aims to find the exact population of snow leopards and conserve them. We believe it will help bring awareness about conservation of leopards among people,” said Ale.  He said the population of snow leopards would be ascertained within two months. The cameras were installed in the areas situated from the altitude of 4,000-5,000 meters and two persons have been deployed to look after each camera.

According to Dr. Ale, 300 to 500 snow leopards are found in Nepal at the height of 5,000 to 6,000 meters and their number is rapidly declining.” Article by Shiva Sharma.

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