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First snow leopard census starts in Uttarakhand

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    12th Nov, 2020


  • India has launched its first ever census of the rare and elusive snow leopard population.
  • For the first time, a scientific estimate of the snow leopard population in India will take place.

Snow leopard and its ecological status

  • Snow Leopard is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because the global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature individuals and is expected to decline about 10% by 2040.
  • The snow leopard is known as the ounce.


  • It is threatened by poaching and habitat destruction following infrastructural developments.


  • It is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. 
  • It ranges from eastern Afghanistan, the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, to southern Siberia, Mongolia, and western China.
  • It inhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m.

It’s Habitat in India

  • It mainly inhabits the higher reaches of Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand but is also found in Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

Methods involved for the estimation

  • It will be based on sightings of scat, scrape and pug marks, existence of co-predators like Himalayan brown bear, Asiatic black bear, common leopard, tiger and red fox.

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