Snow Leopard | 03 Jan 2024

Kyrgyzstan has officially declared the Snow Leopard(Panthera uncia) as its national symbol, signifying its commitment to conservation and ecological balance.

  • The snow leopard holds historical importance in Kyrgyz culture, featuring in the story of Manas, a Kyrgyz folk hero, revered as a symbol of greatness, courage, and resilience. It has come to be known as the ‘ghost of the mountains’.
  • Snow leopards are vital for ecological balance, inhabiting 1/3 of the global territory. A decline in their population poses risks to various species.
    • Adapted to high-altitude terrains, their unique physique ensures agility in steep, rugged environments.
    • Snow leopards face threats from poaching, habitat loss, and declining prey. Human-wildlife conflict and warming in the high Himalayas.
  • The Government of India has identified the snow leopard as a flagship species for the high-altitude Himalayas. It has developed a Project Snow Leopard to conserve the species and habitats.

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