Pakistan’s Shimshal among hotspots of snow leopard research

Pakistan’s Shimshal, China’s Tomur National Nature Reserve, together with India, Nepal, and Mongolia have emerged as hotspots of snow leopard research, based on the WWF.  

“The spatial spread of snow leopard research showed that India, China, and Nepal had the highest number of studies, comprising more than 50% of global research,” the report titled Over 100 Years of Snow Leopard Research mentioned.

It discovered that Pakistan lined the biggest geographic space with research enumerating snow leopard populations, adopted by Bhutan, Nepal, India, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and China.

“Bhutan had the
largest proportion of its snow leopard habitat lined by inhabitants
density-focused research (76%) adopted by Pakistan (24%) and Nepal (19%).
India, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and China had lower than 10% of
their vary lined, whereas Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan had no

The report discovered
that lower than 3% of the snow leopard vary has been surveyed utilizing
rigorous population-density estimation strategies together with use of digicam traps
and genetic instruments. It mentioned that greater than 70% of snow leopard
habitat stays unexplored.

“While researchers generally agree that current snow leopard numbers are based on the need to extrapolate broadly from knowledge based on 3% of their range, there has been no large-scale effort to rigorously estimate snow leopard populations across their range,” it added.

While snow leopard abundance and distribution has acquired so much of consideration, there are nonetheless no dependable estimates of snow leopard abundance throughout the bigger half of the snow leopard vary and neither has its distribution been mapped precisely.

Snow leopards, often known as masters of stealth and camouflage, inhabit the mountain ranges of 12 international locations throughout Central and South Asia: China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia.

According to the report, solely 35% of the present snow leopard vary is predicted to stay as steady local weather refugia. Snow leopard habitat is predicted to say no by 8-23% by 2070 as a result of of local weather impacts.

Only 14-19% of the snow leopard vary is protected, with 40% of these protected areas being smaller than a single grownup’s house vary.

It claimed that between 221 to 450 snow leopards are killed by folks yearly, 55% of this killing is pushed by retaliation for snow leopard predation on livestock.

“There is an urgent need to diversify the agenda for snow leopard research, with an enhanced focus on the spatial ecology of snow leopards in multiple-use landscapes, disease ecology, impacts of climate change, its population dynamics, the relationships between people, livestock, wild ungulates, snow leopards and rangelands and the impacts of infrastructure development on snow leopard habitat selection and use,” the report mentioned.

Globally, there might be as few as 4,000 snow leopards and the remaining inhabitants faces conventional and rising threats. Increased habitat loss and degradation, poaching, and battle with communities have contributed to a decline of their numbers and left the species hanging by a thread in lots of locations. Though conservationists are addressing such threats, a strong evaluation of how efficient the interventions are in attaining their goals stays scarce.

“By identifying gaps in research, the report presents a valuable opportunity to assess and prioritize snow leopard research,” mentioned WWF’s Nilanga Jayasinghe. “Improved knowledge can provide opportunities for data-driven and targeted conservation actions that will not only help snow leopards but the other wildlife and communities that share their space.”

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