Snow leopards to be scanned in the wild for the first time


It would be for the first time in the state when elusive snow leopards would be under the scan of Himachal wildlife department as it would attach GPS chips after tagging collar soon.

Officials of the wild life department of the state confirmed yesterday that it has been given a nod by the concerned authority at the centre as the department had proposed a project to conduct study and survey of these most endangered and elusive wild cats in coming few years as their habitat is in the snow line in the high altitudes.

The electronic devices would help the experts to keep it under scan to note down the movement and prey in the wild besides its encounter near human habitation.

The project is likely to be estimated around Rs. 25 lakhs and would be centered in the Kibber village (14,200 feets) in  Spiti valley of Himachal. An old study revealed that this habitat houses more than 30 odd snow leopards, which is a good number and sample for conducting the research.

This animal is found in between 11,000 feet to 20,000 feet height and its total count is expected to be around 2500 in the world.

This task is mountainous to the authorities as the sources revealed that they could not be tracked easily as they were very elusive and keep distance from human beings. In the first phase of project, the wild life officials are to launch a probe in the wild to trace at least six cats and successfully tag them for the purpose.

Himachal Pradesh has long snow lines as it offers unique habitat for these animals while wild life authority has very little know how of these animals, about their feeding, breeding and state of their habitat and prey. Besides its head count could be one of the significant step to unveil the mystery soon.

Several attempts were made by the wild life lovers and camera hunters to take the images of this animal which reveals that its number is significant and would bring interesting facts with the current study and transform the scenario with innovative technology.

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