Press release from Snow Leopard Foundation, Pakistan: Three snow leopards snapped in a single capture in Khunjerab National Park

Three snow leopards snapped in a single capture in Khunjerab National Park

Snow leopards are so cryptic in nature and reside in one of the harshest and inaccessible milieus of our planet that encountering with snow leopard in the wild is like a dream. This elusive nature of snow leopard led one of the eminent wildlife biologists of the world to attribute this as “Imperiled Phantom”.

A total of 643 photographs including a group of 3 snow leopards (probably 2 sub adults with a mother) were photographed during an intensive camera trapping session of 560 nights in KNP during Nov-Dec. 2010, conducted by the Snow Leopard Foundation, Pakistan in collaboration with the Directorate of KNP and Gilgit-Baltistan Forest and Wildlife Department. The cameras captured many other wild species as well.

The Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserve viable populations of snow leopards and other wild carnivores as an integral part of landscapes across Pakistan, while improving the socio-economic condition of the people who share the fragile mountain ecosystem with the wildlife. The SLF works in partnership with the Snow Leopard Trust and Panthera, the two leading international wild cat conservation organizations, and operates in three core sectors: research and monitoring, community based conservation programs, and conservation education and awareness. It has
pioneered state-of-the-art research tools in Pakistan and operating in Gilgit-Baltistan, Khybger Pakhtunkhaw, and Azad Jamu and Kashmir.

The current study was undertaken in KNP from November, 23 to December 31, 2010 and was aimed at assessing the status of snow leopard as well as other carnivores, their key prey species, and human-carnivore conflict. The study also tested affect of different kinds of baits on camera trapping success.

In addition to camera trapping, more than 1400 km² area was scanned during occupancy surveys and 150 fecal samples were collected for genetic analysis. The study provided a rare learning opportunity to the staff of the Wildlife Department, and students from national and international universities, who were engaged. Once data analysis is completed, the study will provide more reliable estimates of snow leopard in the park besides highlighting existing management/monitoring limitations and ultimately help better manage the park resources in the longer run.

Panthera provided financial support for this study.

3 Responses to “Press release from Snow Leopard Foundation, Pakistan: Three snow leopards snapped in a single capture in Khunjerab National Park”

  1. Dr. Ghulam Akbar Says:

    Wonderful job in such harsh environment. I must congratulate the taem of Snow Laopard Foundation. Please keep it up.

  2. admin Says:

    Imperiled phantom: Rare group photo of snow leopards at Khunjerab Park

    Manzoor Ali

    January 14, 2011

    Snow leopards photographed using night vision cameras. PHOTO: SNOW LEOPARD FOUNDATION

    PESHAWAR: In a rare photographic bonanza three snow leopards were snapped in a single shot at the Khunjerab National Park (KNP). This took place during a 450 nights’ camera trapping session through November and December last year.

    The study was being conducted by the Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) Pakistan in collaboration with the directorate of KNP and the forest and wildlife department of Gilgit-Baltistan.

    A spokesperson for the SLF told The Express Tribune that a total of 643 photographs including one with three snow leopards (probably 2 sub-adults with a mother) were taken during an intensive camera trapping session last month. He said that the cameras captured many other wild species as well during these sessions.

    He said that the study was aimed at assessing the status of snow leopards as well as other carnivores, their key prey species and the human-carnivore conflict. The study also tested the effect of different kinds of baits on camera trapping success.

    In addition to camera trapping an area greater than 1, 400 square kilometres was scanned during occupancy surveys and 150 faecal samples were collected for genetic analysis.

    The study provided a rare learning opportunity to the staff of the wildlife department and students from national and international universities, who were engaged in this venture, he said.

    Once data analysis is completed, the study will provide more reliable estimates of snow leopards in the park besides highlighting existing management and monitoring limitations. This will ultimately help in better managing park resources in the long run. Panthera provided financial support for this study.

    The spokesperson said that the snow leopards are cryptic in nature and reside in one of the harshest and most inaccessible milieus of our planet. Encountering snow leopards in the wild is like a dream, he added. This elusive nature of the creature has led to it being labelled as the “Imperiled Phantom” by eminent wildlife biologists.

    The Snow Leopard Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to conserving viable populations of snow leopards and other wild carnivores. The creatures are considered to be an integral part of landscapes across Pakistan. The organisation also strives to improve the socio-economic conditions of people who share the fragile mountain ecosystem with the wildlife. The SLF works in partnership with the Snow Leopard Trust and Panthera, the two leading international wildcat conservation organizations. The SLF operates in three core sectors: research and monitoring, community based conservation programmes and conservation education and awareness. It has pioneered state-of-the-art research tools in Pakistan while operating in Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

    Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2011.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/103559/imperiled-phantom-rare-group-photo-of-snow-leopards-at-khunjerab-park/

  3. admin Says:

    Rare group photo of snow leopards taken in Pakistan Saturday, 15 January 2011 02:04

    PESHARAR: In a rare photographic bonanza three snow leopards have been snapped in a single shot at the Khunjerab National Park (KNP) in northern Pakistan.

    This took place during a 450 nights’ camera trapping session through November and December last year.

    The study was being conducted by the Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) Pakistan in collaboration with the directorate of KNP and the forest and wildlife department of Gilgit-Baltistan.

    A spokesperson for the SLF said yesterday that a total of 643 photographs including one with three snow leopards (probably two sub-adults with a mother) were taken during an intensive camera trapping session last month. He said that the cameras captured many other wild species as well during these sessions.

    He said that the study was aimed at assessing the status of snow leopards as well as other carnivores, their key prey species and the human-carnivore conflict. The study also tested the effect of different kinds of baits on camera trapping success.

    In addition to camera trapping an area greater than 1, 400 square kilometres was scanned during occupancy surveys and 150 faecal samples were collected for genetic analysis.

    The study provided a rare learning opportunity to the staff of the wildlife department and students from national and international universities, who were engaged in this venture, he said.

    Once data analysis is completed, the study will provide more reliable estimates of snow leopards in the park besides highlighting existing management and monitoring limitations. This will ultimately help in better managing park resources in the long run. Panthera provided financial support for this study.

    The spokesperson said that the snow leopards are cryptic in nature and reside in one of the harshest and most inaccessible milieus of our planet.

    http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/pakistan/afghanistan/139108-rare-group-photo-of-snow-leopards-taken-in-pakistan.html

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