Snow leopard

World Press nature photos

October 1st, 2009

World Press Photo have just released on the Net its remarkable archive gallery some 10,000 images. The above photo of a snow leopard was taken by Steve Winter,  whose report here on snow leopards in Ladakh in the Indian Himalayas won the nature category in 2008. “A snow leopard walks a high mountain trail, photographed using a remotely operated camera trap. The camera recorded just a single image in five months.”

More nature reports from World Press Photo

Snow leopard holidays

September 3rd, 2009

Here are a couple of option to see and learn about snow leopards in the wild in Russia and Pakistan.

Snow leopard conservation volunteer holiday in Altai, Russia

These conservation working holidays will take you to the high mountains of Central Asia to survey snow leopards and their prey animals such as the argali mountain sheep and the Altai ibex, as well as other animals including marmots and birds. You will be working as part of a small international team from a base camp set at 2200 m at the foot of a 3500 m remote mountain range and overlooking a vast area of open steppe. More here

Aims:

  • To estimate snow leopard (Uncia uncia) activity through field signs, by tracking and observation.
  • To assess the status and distribution of their prey species like the argali and the Altai ibex.
  • Where possible, to survey other animals such as marmots, birds and other small mammals.
  • Note: This tourism business won an Award in our 2006 First Choice Responsible Tourism Awards – organised by responsibletravel.com in association with The Times, World Travel Market and Geographical Magazine, of the Royal Geographical Society.

    Snow leopard watching in Pakistan

    Trip to see both the Kalash winter festival of Chamos in Pakistan – the most important time of the year for the Kalash, when life, the gods and the ancestors are celebrated in a week long party – and to seek out the elusive snow leopard, which has been sighted here three years running. More here

    Typical day

    Today we will move up to the old hunting lodge in Chitral Gol, the region’s National Park. Staying in the wild will give us another great opportunity to spot the Snow Leopard, but that is not all. This is also the rutting season for the famous Markhor wild goat and we will see hundreds of them fighting and playing – indeed it is the young of the Markhor that interest the Snow Leopard More here

    Photos of snow leopard in Afghanistan

    August 31st, 2009

    Snow Leopard

    The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has released some great camera trap photos of snow leopards in the Sast Valley in Wakhan Corridor in  northeastern Afghanistan. The IUCN estimates that only 100-200 snow leopards still survive in Afghanistan. The aim of the survey is to eventually establish a new protected area. The region also contains the Pallas’s cat and the Altai weasel, both classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN. More on story here. Photo from here

    See also: Snow leopard holidays

    Tiger and snow leopard numbers fall in Nepal

    July 27th, 2009 The latest census on tigers and snow leopards in Nepal shows a fall in the numbers of both species. The tiger population has declined, albeit slightly, from 123 in 2003 to 121. Snow leopards have fallen to between 300 and 400, while previously their number was estimated at between 400 and 500. Snow leopard network Update: See also Science Daily (better analysis of story) 121 Breeding Tigers Estimated To Be Found In Nepal “The first ever overall nation-wide estimate of the tiger population brought a positive ray of hope among conservationists. The figures… show the presence of 121 (100 – 194) breeding tigers in the wild within the four protected areas of Nepal.” “”Tiger numbers have increased in Chitwan but decreased in Bardia and Shuklaphanta,” said Mr. Anil Manandhar, Country Representative, WWF Nepal. “In spite of the decade long insurgency, encroachment, poaching and illegal trade, the present numbers is a positive sign, but we can’t remain unworried. The declining numbers in western Nepal has posed more challenges, needing a concerted effort to save this charismatic endangered species focusing on anti-poaching and illegal wildlife trade.” See also: Snow leopard holidays

    Tracking snow leopards in Kargil, India

    July 22nd, 2009 Interesting account of tracking successfully a snow leopard by Aishwarya Maheshwari of the WWF “I was on the frontier of India’s remotest wildness, where few humans have treaded before and fewer to study wildlife. Kargil, among largest districts of India, is best known in recent history for the major military conflict that occurred here in 1999. This unfortunately overshadowed the region’s rich wildlife. For, it is here that one of world’s most elusive creature.” Read

    Zoo snow leopards in the mist

    July 20th, 2009

    Snow leopards at New York Zoo have been built a remarkable new enclosure. The Wildlife Conservation Society has fashioned miniature natural worlds that maintain the illusion of their natural habitat. Mist-making machinery creates wisps of clouds through which the pair of snow leopards can mysteriously take shape. Fewer than 8,000 snow leopards may remain in the wild; about 700 are in captivity. New York Times

    See also: Snow leopard holidays