Collaborative Snow Leopard Conservation and Research

Snow-leopard-in-West

The snow leopard Panthera uncia is assessed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is categorized as Endangered in the National Red List of Nepal and legally protected under National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 of the Government of Nepal, as a priority species for conservation. Despite Nepal’s continuous conservation effort, its long-term viability is threatened by human-snow leopard conflict over livestock depredation, retaliatory killings, prey depletion, habitat fragmentation and loss, climate change and human consumption induced disturbances.

Agro-pastoralism is a dominant land use practice in Nepal’s high mountain region, where local people are economically challenged and struggle to develop sustainable livelihoods given their high dependency upon limited and fragile natural resources. At the local level, livestock depredation by snow leopard and associated financial loss is perhaps the most important issue in its conservation. Thus, managing human-snow leopard conflict is of utmost priority for the continuing survival of snow leopards in areas where local communities can live and co-exist in harmony. This can be achieved by engaging local communities in the field research through reliable scientific data collection and by promoting awareness of snow leopard and alpine ecosystems, along with promoting alternative livelihood sources.

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