Bhutan announces “milestone achievement” with a 39.5% increase in snow leopard numbers

The last survey of snow leopards by the Himalayan country was conducted in 2016

RH Desk
September 20

A new survey in Bhutan has confirmed the presence of 134 snow leopards, a 39.5% increase from the country’s first survey in 2016.

Bhutan’s second national survey covered more than 9,000 km sq of snow leopard habitat across the northern alpine landscape of the country with 310 camera trap stations, a release issued by the World Wildlife Fund which also supported the survey.

“it is also a species in peril; the IUCN Red List designates the snow leopard as Vulnerable. Without protection, this magnificent species could face extinction in the near future, “Karma Tshering, Bhutan’s Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources said.

It also said snow leopards are threatened by habitat degradation, prey depletion, conflict with humans, poaching and climate change.

“The global population of snow leopards is declining, but the survey suggests conservation efforts in Bhutan to restore snow leopard habitat and combat poaching are having a positive impact,” the release said.

“The estimated 134 snow leopards is a remarkable 39.5% increase since the last population survey in 2016 and should serve as continued inspiration for protection of this elusive species,” said Dechen Dorji, Senior Director, Asia Wildlife, WWF-US.

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