4 Very Rare Snow Leopards Sighted in Uttarakhand! Read More Here
COVID-19 has sentenced people to the worst times in history, with lockdowns and social distancing. While we are locked in, the world outside is blooming. Nature is recovering, and animals too are having a blast.
4 very rare snow leopards stole the show at Nanda Devi National park of Uttarakhand, in a recent happening. The sighting was made known by Akash Kumar Verma, an Indian Foreign Service Officer, who shared the photographs of the leopards in his Twitter account.
Statements were made by officials, on how and through which medium, the animals were sighted. DK Singh, Director of Nanda Devi National Park stated that the park has been, for some time, using hidden cameras to track animals and that the aforementioned sightings were recorded by a camera which was installed for 3 months i.e., from January 2020 to March 2020. The rare incident was discovered recently when the forest officials went through the footage.
According to Mr Singh, the Department of Forest installs cameras in areas where snow leopards are likely to turn up. The cameras are then checked every 2-3 months. He further added that 4 snow leopards were also sighted at the Malari area of the same park, over a week ago. Besides photographs, the management was also able to secure a video coverage of the rare species, for the first time. The photographs and video are captured by a camera which was installed at an altitude of 3100 metres (10170 ft.), stated Parag Madhukar Dhakate, Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF), Western Circle Kumaon.
Forest officials stated that the leopards had probably wandered further down this year, as the higher regions of the Garhwal Himalayas are experiencing heavy snowfall.
Nanda Devi National Park or Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve was established in 1982 and was inscribed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. The park spreads at an elevation of more than 3500 metres (11500 ft.) above sea level. Later in 2005, it was renamed Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks. The park serves as a habitat to many endangered species. Snow Leopards or Panthera Uncia inhabits the Himalayas at elevations ranging from 3000 to 4000 metres. However, due to destruction of its habitat and poaching, they are under threat. As per the Wildlife Protection Act, India, Snow Leopard is a Schedule I animal and The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species as ‘endangered’.
Wildlife Institute of India (WII) which is based in Dehradun estimated the total number of species and according to it 516 snow leopards are present in the country, with the distribution of 285 in Jammu and Kashmir, 90 in Himachal Pradesh, 86 in Uttarakhand, 42 in Arunachal Pradesh and 13 in Sikkim.