Bhutan Announces Milestone Achievement In Snow Leopard Numbers

September 20, 2023

Bhutan, the Himalayan kingdom known for its commitment to environmental preservation, has reported a remarkable 40% increase in the population of snow leopards.

snow leopard bhutan
Image by luxstorm from Pixabay

The snow leopard, often referred to as the "ghost of the mountains," has been facing a perilous decline in numbers across its range due to habitat loss and poaching.

Bhutan, however, has stood as a beacon of hope for this elusive big cat.

The presence of 134 snow leopards has been confirmed in Bhutan by the National Snow Leopard Survey. This represents a 39.5% increase from the country’s first survey in 2016, when 96 individuals were counted.

Using 310 camera trap stations, the survey found an overall density of 1.34 snow leopards per 100 km sq, which was comparatively higher in the west than in central and eastern Bhutan, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported.

Snow leopards were also recorded in several new locations.

"The increase in snow leopard numbers is yet another milestone achievement for Bhutan’s conservation journey. It clearly demonstrates the government's leadership and the conservation ethos of the highland communities," said Chimi Rinzin, the Country Director for WWF-Bhutan.

"WWF is fully cognizant of the challenges of increasing conflict, and we will strive towards addressing this issue to sustain the future of snow leopards while safeguarding the livelihoods of the herder communities."

Learn more about the elusive snow leopard in the video below.

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