The forest officials at Uttarakhand’s Gangotri National Park spotted a rare snow leopard in the premises on June 14, 2020. The majestic wild cat was seen making its way through the rugged terrains of Sonam region. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed snow leopards as ‘endangered’ species because their population has declined in the last 16 years by about 20 percent. Read on for the details.
Rare Snow Leopard Spotted In Gangotri National Park, Uttarakhand
Snow leopards usually live in the steep mountain slopes of Central and South Asia, at heights between 9,800 feet and 17,000 feet above sea level. According to a World Wide Fund report, snow leopards are found in 12 countries including India, Bhutan, Nepal, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. These big cats have grey or green eyes and thick, long tails for balancing on the rocks. The officials spotted the snow leopard in the national park at an altitude of nearly 3400 metres, which is equivalent to about 11,155 feet. Dr. PM Dhakate, Chief Conservator of Forests at Uttarakhand Forest Department, has uploaded a video of a snow leopard in the Gangotri National Park on 15th June 2020. As per reports, this video clip is from August 2019, captured in the Nelong valley
Snow Leopards are high altitude acrobats who prefer steep terrain broken cliffs and ravines thus having short forelimbs and long hind legs helps keep them agile in steep and rugged environment.
This Snow Leopard spotted in Gangotri National Park, Uttarakhand, India pic.twitter.com/T4t1SXFxCB
— Dr. PM Dhakate (@paragenetics) June 15, 2020
The deputy director of the park, DB Sharma notified that the recent sight of this snow leopard is symbolic of these feline cats flourishing in the region. Also, the park authorities were happy after spotting it as they had lost a seven-year-old female snow leopard on 9th June, 2020. Poaching and habitat destruction pose a threat to the existence of these marvellous creatures.
Meanwhile, here’s some deets about the world’s first isolation facility for animals in Uttarakhand’s Corbett National Park.
As per the latest studies, the count of snow leopards in India is around 516. About a couple of months ago, the number of snow leopards in Himachal Pradesh’s Spiti Valley had crossed 100. Apart from snow leopards, counts of some other animals have also increased in the country. Gir Forest in Gujarat is now home to 674 lions and the count is 29% higher from last year. Also, the tiger population in West Bengal’s Sundarbans recently increased from 88 to 96.
Kudos to the efforts of the forest authorities for their constant efforts to preserve the rich wildlife of the country! On that note, here’s a short tour through the world’s biggest tulip garden in Uttarakhand.