Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI)

  Feb 26, 2024

Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI)

1. What was the purpose of the Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI) Program?

The SPAI Program aimed to conduct the first-ever comprehensive survey of snow leopards in India. Its purpose was to estimate the population of this vulnerable species within the country and contribute to global efforts in assessing the worldwide numbers of snow leopards.

2. How many snow leopards are there in India according to the SPAI Program?

The SPAI Program estimated that there are 718 snow leopards in India. This figure represents approximately 10-15% of the global population of snow leopards.

3. Over what area was the SPAI Program conducted?

The survey covered approximately 120,000 square kilometers (46,332 square miles) of potential snow leopard habitat across the trans-Himalayan region of India.

4. Which areas in India were included in the SPAI Program survey?

The survey included 70% of the potential snow leopard habitat in India, covering regions such as Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.

5. How did researchers estimate the snow leopard population during the SPAI Program?

Researchers used camera traps to identify 214 individual snow leopards. They then analyzed leopard trails and other data to estimate the population size.

6. Why is understanding the snow leopard population important?

Understanding the snow leopard population is crucial because it serves as an apex predator in the Himalayan ecosystem. The population size can indicate the health of the ecosystem, help identify potential threats to their habitat, and reveal shifts caused by climate change.

7. What challenges do snow leopards face in the wild?

Snow leopards face multiple threats, including habitat loss, poaching, and the impacts of infrastructure development.

8. What does the SPAI Program report say about the land used by snow leopards?

The report highlights that 70% of the land used by snow leopards is unprotected yet provides critical habitat for wildlife. It emphasizes the need for consistent monitoring to ensure the long-term survival of snow leopards.

9. Which region in India has the highest estimated number of snow leopards?

Ladakh has the highest estimated number of snow leopards, followed by Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Jammu & Kashmir.


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