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Snow leopard sightings cheer U`khand experts


The Tribune, Dehradun,16th July, 2015


 

News of 13 “bharal” (Himalayan blue sheep) kills in Sarsopatal meadow of the Nandadevi National Park in Uttarakhand has brought smile on the faces of snow leopard conservationists.

 

A team of scientists and foresters noticed these kills during a recently concluded decadal survey in 7-km-long and 1-km-wide Sarsopatal meadow of the Nandadevi National Park. Highly endangered snow leopard is the only predator found in these higher reaches.

Bharal is snow leopard’s first preference as food. Thus, 13 bharal kills prove that the region has a good number of snow leopards. Not a single bharal kill was noticed in Sarsopatal meadow during the last decadal survey here in 2003.

 

Snow leopard is a threatened species. Its skin and bones fetch good returns in the illegal international trade. Retaliatory killings to reduce livestock loss and reduction in their natural prey due to competition with livestock are other challenges that threaten snow leopard’s existence.

 

Wildlife Institute of India’s senior scientist BS Adhikari said the increase in number of bharal kills was an indication of increase in the number of its predator (snow leopard). Adhikari has been part of both 2003 and 2015 Nandadevi National Park decadal surveys.

 

Source:- http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/snow-leopard-sightings-cheer-u-khand-experts/107315.html