International Snow Leopard Day

News: International Snow Leopard Day is being observed on October 23 every year since 2013.The primary aim of the day is to raise awareness on conservation and protection of the snow leopards.

Facts:

  • HimalSanrakshak: It is a community volunteer programme launched by the Government of India to protect Snow leopards.

Snow Leopard Conservation:

  • Project Snow Leopard (PSL): It was launched by Govt of India in 2009 to promote an inclusive and participatory approach to conserve snow leopards and their habitat.
  • Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection(GSLEP): It is a joint initiative of range country governments, international agencies, civil society, and the private sector.Its goal is to secure the long-term survival of the snow leopard in its natural ecosystem.
  • Snow Leopard Landscapes: For conservation, India has identified three large landscapes namely, Hemis-Spiti across Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh; Nanda Devi – Gangotri in Uttarakhand; and Khangchendzonga – Tawang across Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Flagship Species: The Government of India has also identified the snow leopard as a flagship species for the high-altitude Himalayas.

Additional Facts:

  • Snow leopards: It lives in the mountainous regions of central and southern Asia.
  • Range Countries: Snow leopard is found in 12 range countries namely Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • India: The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh constitute snow leopard Habitat range in India.
  • IUCN Status: Vulnerable
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Significance: Snow leopard is the State animal of Himachal Pradesh.
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