Camera trapping experts from HP to help track elusive snow leopard in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Camera trapping experts of snow leopards from Himachal Pradesh have been roped in to track the elusive high mountain animal in the Kashmir valley.
Camera trapping experts from HP to help track elusive snow leopard in Kashmir

Srinagar: Camera trapping experts of snow leopards from Himachal Pradesh have been roped in to track the elusive high mountain animal in the Kashmir valley.

Though camera traps have been used to track hanguls here in the past, using the same technology extensively in the higher reaches poses a challenge in Kashmir.

The setting of camera traps extensively will not only be helpful for the first-ever snow leopard survey launched in Jammu and Kashmir last year but will also aid in verifying claims of sightings of the elusive animal.

Munib Khanyari, programme manager of the Mysore based Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) operational in the Western Himalayan belt , said the two experts had a experience of 10 years in setting camera traps for snow leopards.

“Camera traps have been used for hanguls but very rarely used for snow leopards as they are found in the higher reaches. The two camera trapping experts are Rinchen Tobge and Tanzin Thuktan from Kibber Village, Lahual-Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. They have been working for camera trapping of snow leopards across Himachal Pradesh for over 10 years now. They imparted training to the project associates here (in Srinagar) on Saturday,” Khanyari told The Kashmir Monitor.

Stating that the camera trapping for snow leopards in the higher reaches was expected to commence from August-September, he said the training was held as part of the central snow leopard project of the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change.

“We are working in collaboration with the J&K Wildlife Protection Department and the workshop was held as part of the Project Snow Leopard (PSL) across the Himalayan range. Few states have already finished it and we are now actively carrying out our activities across Jammu and Kashmir. We are hopeful that camera traps will be set up in August-September,” he said.

Khanyari said snow leopard sightings were usually reported from Kishtwar, Gurez and Thajwas areas of Jammu and Kashmir besides the Ladakh region.

“The snow leopard is an iconic and culturally treasured cat across its global range and is a good indicator species as it quickly reacts to habitat disturbance. Its successful conservation requires sustainable long-term systemic solutions to the threats impacting the quality of habitats. Conserving snow leopards means conserving mountain habitats which are the water towers of Asia,” he added.

A project associate, who attended the workshop and is part of the snow leopard survey team in Kashmir, said the experts from Himachal provided valuable tips.

“The two experts shared valuable experiences and taught how and where to put cameras, how to find signs, etc. Tracking snow leopards is no easy task and that is people with a sound experience in mountaineering have also been roped in for the survey,” he said.

Copyright © 1996 - 2022

Copyright © 1996 - 2022

(This story has not been checked by JK Mega and is auto-generated from other sources)


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