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International Snow Leopard Day

  • IASbaba
  • October 26, 2020
  • 0
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International Snow Leopard Day

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Biodiversity 

In news

  • International Snow Leopard Day is observed on 23rd October. 

Key takeaways 

  • 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 

Snow Leopard 

  • 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.

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