WWF Cameras Capture Endangered Snow Leopards in Sikkim for The First Time. Check Out the Pics!

While there has been speculation in the past about the possibility of stunning snow leopards wandering around northern Sikkim, a possibility highly endorsed by yak herders in the region, tangible evidence has just been found.

Photographs from camera traps have emerged for the first time; snow leopards have been spotted at four different locations.


Credit: WWF India

This is absolutely heartening because the snow leopard falls under the endangered species category according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is listed as a Schedule 1 animal under the Wildlife Protection Act of India. Not much is known about its whereabouts at present.

The areas in and around the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, said to be its current range, are not mapped well enough.

It is said that there are as few as 500 snow leopards still in India.


Credit: WWF India

However, the new development is a step forward. WWF-India has been working in Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim since 2006 to try and get more information on the species in the country. More camera traps will be arranged in different locations; the ones in Sikkim were set up in 2015.

A dedicated team of conservationists is involved in a mammoth effort to encourage long-term conservation and address a plethora of issues such as shepherds killing leopards in a bid to safeguard their flocks.

Credit: WWF India

They’re trying to involve people at several levels in order to cover as much ground as possible. Rishi Kumar Sharma, Snow Leopard Coordinator for WWF-India said, “With credible scientific information, WWF-India envisions a future where the snow leopards thrive in the high mountains and the local communities benefit from a resilient and productive ecosystem.”

While the challenges are many, the important thing to remember is that this is a major breakthrough for conservationists in the country. The camera trap study, which is expected to conclude in 2017, has the potential to yield good results in the future.

Featured Image Source: Naturetraveller

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