International Snow Leopard Day
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Biodiversity
- International Snow Leopard Day is observed on 23rd October.
- Aim: To raise awareness on conservation and protection of snow leopards.
- International Snow Leopard Day came into being on 23rd October, 2013 when Bishkek Declaration was adopted by 12 countries on the conservation of snow leopards.
- The 12 countries included: India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Important value additions
- It is also known as Ghost of the mountains.
- They are positioned as the top predator in the food web.
- It acts as an indicator of the health of the mountain ecosystem in which they live.
- Habitat: Higher Himalayan and trans-Himalayan landscape in J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
- India is home to 5 big cats: Snow Leopard, Lion, Tiger, Common Leopard, and Clouded Leopard.
- Snow Leopard capital of the world: Hemis, Ladakh.
- Threat: Reduction in prey populations, illegal poaching and increased human population infiltration into the species habitat and illegal trade of wildlife parts and products
- IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
- CITES: Appendix I
- Convention on Migratory Species (CMS): Appendix I
- Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972: Schedule I
- Conservation Efforts by India: (1) HimalSanrakshak: It is a community volunteer programme, to protect snow leopards, launched on 23rd October 2020; (2) In 2019, First National Protocol was also launched on Snow Leopard Population Assessment; (3) SECURE Himalaya: Global Environment Facility (GEF)-UNDP funded project on conservation of high altitude biodiversity; (4) Project Snow Leopard launched in 2009; (5) Snow Leopard is in the list of 21 critically endangered species for the recovery programme of the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change.
Do you know?
- Hemis National Park is the biggest national park of India and also has a good presence of Snow Leopard.