SHIMLA: Six snow leopards in the icy state of Himachal Pradesh will be fitted with satellite-linked collars in a project aimed at deepening understanding of the endangered mountain cat, wildlife officials said yesterday.
The $40,450 project will help the state wildlife department study the movement of the snow leopards in the Himalayas where climate change and human settlements are affecting their habitat. “Half a dozen snow leopards will be tagged by GPS collars and the behaviour of these elusive cats will be observed,” said Vivek Mohan, a senior state wildlife department official.
A research centre will also be set up by the state near the Tibet-bordering Spiti Valley — considered an important habitat for the mountain cats. It is estimated that there are less than 30 snow leopards left in Himachal. In rare sightings, two snow leopards were caught on cameras late last year in northern Uttarakhand state, springing hope in wildlife conservationists. AFP