Monday, May 28, 2012

Bhutan Key Refuge for Snow Leopards, Caught on Camera!

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Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia)

Bhutan Key Refuge for Snow Leopards, Caught on Camera!

The World Wildlife Fund is reporting evidence of ample prey shows the means for Snow Leopards to survive, even thrive, in Bhutan's Wangchuck Centennial Park. Prey includes the Tibet Wolf, Musk Deer, Red Fox, and Blue Sheep, which appear to be numerous. Below are the first images from the Park.

Researchers See Hopeful Signs for Bhutan's Elusive Snow Leopard Endangered snow leopards are thriving in Bhutan, according to a new report released by the World Wildlife Fund. Instead of attempting to track the leopards, researchers at the Wangchuck Centennial Park in Bhutan took a census of the wildlife on which the elusive leopards prey. Ben Gruber reports.

Snow Leopards Caught on Camera This extraordinary scene is from a new cache of video and photos taken through a camera trap study by the Royal Government of Bhutan and WWF in Wangchuck Centennial Park, the country's largest protected area. The cameras filmed both predator and prey species, ranging from the Tibetan wolf to the musk deer, suggesting this protected area is a key refuge for Himalayan biodiversity.

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WWF has worked to preserve Bhutan’s rich biodiversity and natural heritage for decades and is the only international conservation organization with a permanent presence in the country.

"WWF has a special commitment to Wangchuck Centennial Park because we were invited to co-manage it with the government in 2009,” said Shubash Lohani of WWF’s Eastern Himalayas program. “It was the first time Bhutan entrusted a non governmental entity to co-manage a protected area together with the government."

The Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) is classified as Endangered, with a decreasing population trend, on the IUCN Red List. The estimated population is less than 7,000 in the following countries:
Afghanistan: 100-200?
Bhutan: 100-200?
China: 2,000-2,500
India: 200-600
Kazakhstan: 180-200
Kyrgyzstan: 150-500
Mongolia: 500-1,000
Nepal: 300-500
Pakistan: 200-420
Russia: 150-200
Tajikistan: 180-220
Uzbekistan: 20-50

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