Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Kyrgyzstan declares Snow Leopard as National Symbol


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Snow Leopard

Mains level: NA

Snow Leopard

Central Idea

  • Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian country, has declared the snow leopard as its national symbol.

About Snow Leopard

Habitat Mountainous regions of Central and Southern Asia; in India: western and eastern Himalayas.
Indian Geographical Range Western Himalayas (J&K, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand) and Eastern Himalayas (Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh).
Project Snow Leopard (2009) Aims to strengthen wildlife conservation in the Himalayan high altitudes, involving local communities.
Conservation Status IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

CITES: Appendix I

Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (India): Schedule I

India’s Conservation Efforts Flagship species for high altitude Himalayas.

Part of GSLEP Programme since 2013.

Himalaya Sanrakshak community programme (2020).

National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment (2019)

SECURE Himalaya project (GEF-UNDP funded).

Listed in 21 critically endangered species for recovery by MoEF&CC.

Conservation breeding at Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.

GSLEP Programme Inter-governmental alliance of 12 snow leopard countries (India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan), focusing on ecosystem value awareness.
Living Himalaya Network Initiative WWF’s initiative across Bhutan, India (North-East), and Nepal for conservation impact in the Eastern Himalayas.

Significance of the Snow Leopard

  • The snow leopard symbolizes the health and stability of mountain ecosystems, which cover a significant portion of the global territory.
  • The snow leopard has been a totem animal in ancient Kyrgyz culture, associated with the legendary figure Manas.
  • The harmony between humans and nature, symbolized by the snow leopard, is portrayed in Chyngyz Aitmatov’s novel “When Mountains Fall.”

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