After clean Ganga and Yamuna, here is another sight to behold for the people amid lockdown. And this time it is the rare presence of four snow leopards in Uttarakhand’s Nanda Devi National Park.
DK Singh, who is the director of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve where Nanda Devi National Park is located said that these clippings were recorded from January to March and animals came into sight when the forest officials recently checked it.
“We set up camera traps in areas where we think there is a maximum probability of snow leopard movement. Then after two to three months, we check these camera traps. Around 10 days ago, we checked a camera trap that we had set up in Malari area of Nanda Devi National Park. To our surprise, it had recorded four sightings from January to March and also caught a of snow leopard pair, which is very rare. We are very elated with these sightings”, he said.
The cameras have been set up at an altitude of 3,100 metre. And it recoded the ‘Crepuscular’ behaviour of these elusive leopards.
“Crepuscular means snow leopards are most active during dawn, dusk and night, which also helps them hunt their most preferred prey, the Blue Sheep, which uses the same habitat at night. Snow leopards are highly agile, adaptable and solitary big cats and prefer steep rocky broken terrain close to natural vegetation. For travelling and resting, they use cliffs and major ridgelines. That is where we generally set up camera traps”, said Dhakate.
India currently has a population of 516 snow leopards and are counted in the endangered list. The maximum population of snow leopards is found in Mongolia and China.
Snow leopards don’t usually venture away from their habitat but the lack of people in the region might have promoted them to give it a try.