The Forest department in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul and Spiti, with the help of locals captured a snow leopard which had killed over 40 sheep in the past four days in the district, officials said on Sunday.
“The snow leopard was captured in Geu village of Spiti on Saturday,” said Kaza Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Hardev Negi.
The snow leopard was sent to the Himalayan Nature Park in Kufri of Shimla district, he added.
In India the five Himalayan states, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, are the abode of snow leopard.
The species is found generally in the cold deserts above the treeline. It has been spotted in Ladakh (J&K) and Lahaul-Spiti (Himachal Pradesh).
Besides India, snow leopard is found in China, Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Burma, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan.
The habitat of the species has been disturbed with the ongoing road projects, particularly the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the network of roads being laid by China in the mountain region.
Wildlife experts have many a times expressed concern on the issue of interference of human beings in the habitat of snow leopard.
Last year, on the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day, on October 23, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had said that a protocol has been decided among the member countries to formulate the roadmap for enumeration of snow leopards while addressing the inaugural session of the fourth steering committee meeting of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection (GSLEP) programme.
Javadekar added that the plan is to increase the population of snow leopards by doubling the figures once the enumeration is completed in the world.
The minister further added that the maximum population of snow leopards is in Mongolia and China.
In a tweet, Javedekar reiterated that with the cooperation of the range countries, the population of Snow Leopards will also be doubled in the coming decade.”