International Snow Leopard Day- Observed on October 23.

International Snow Leopard Day is observed on October 23 every year since 2013. The primary aim of the day is to raise awareness on conservation and protection of the snow leopards.

Background

International Snow Leopard Day was started being observed on October 23, 2013. The day was adopted after 12 countries including- India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan agreed with the Bishkek Declaration on the conservation of snow leopards. Apart from that, the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme (GSLEP) was also launched in order to address high-mountain development issues that focuses on conservation of the snow leopard.

About Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard is also known as the Ghost of the mountains. The leopard acts as an indicator of the health of the mountain ecosystem. It is the top predator in the food web. Snow Leopard lives in an extremely cold climate of steep mountains at high altitudes of Central and Southern Asia. In India, they are the inhabited in the higher Himalayan and trans-Himalayan regions in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.

Key Facts

  • Hemis region of Ladakh is known as the Snow Leopard capital of the world.
  • Hemis National Park is the biggest national park of India which has significant presence of Snow Leopard.

Threat

The number of snow leopard is declining because of- reduction in prey populations, illegal poaching, illegal trade of wildlife parts and increased human population infiltration into their habitat.

Protection

The Snow Leopard is categorized as Vulnerable under the IUCN Red List. The species are protected under the Appendix of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and Appendix I convention on Migratory Species (CMS).