Staff Reporter / New Delhi
Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change today launched the first national protocol to enumerate the snow leopard population in the country on the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day. The Day is celebrated on October 23 every year to protect and conserve the snow leopards and preserve the beautiful wildlife of the Himalayas.
Giving the keynote address at the Inaugural session of the 4th steering committee meeting of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program in Delhi, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar expressed confidence that all range countries can work together and enumerate the number of snow leopards.
He said snow leopard range countries must strive to double the snow leopard population in the coming decade. He said it is time to think about the green economy and cross country cooperation for the conservation of wildlife. He also expressed happiness that 2,967 tigers reside in India, which is 77 per cent of the world tiger population.
India is believed to have 400 to 700 snow leopards spread across Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Poaching is a major threat for the snow leopards. Project Snow Leopard is an initiative of the Environment Ministry which aims to safeguard and conserve India’s unique natural heritage of high altitude wildlife populations and their habitats by promoting conservation through participatory policies and actions. Snow leopards play a critical role in their ecosystem as top predators.