Kishtwar High Altitude National Park


  • Recently, four snow leopards (Panthera uncia) on camera in Kishtwar High Altitude National Park of the Union territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir’s Chenab Valley region.

About Kishtwar High Altitude National Park

  • This is a significant development for snow leopard conservation in India, home to two per cent of the global range of the snow leopard. The least well-known large felid is an apex predator and flagship species of High Mountain Asia.

    Kishtwar High Altitude National Park
    iStock photo for representation
  • India is home to 718 snow leopards, most of whom live in areas that are not under legal protection, according to findings released by the Centre in January this year.
  • The 2,191 sq km Kishtwar High Altitude National Park covers an altitude range of 1,800-6,000 metres (m) above the Chenab river and below the Nagin Sheer glacier.
  • The Park is located in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. Kishtwar, along with Doda and Ramban, forms the Chenab Valley region of the UT.
  • Besides the snow leopard, it is also home to Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica), Himalayan musk deer (Moschus leucogaster) and wolves.
  • The northern, north-eastern, eastern and south-eastern parts of the Park are covered by glaciers and inaccessible.
  • The Park is home to potential snow leopard prey like long-tailed marmot (Marmota caudate) and pika (Ochotona) as well as carnivores like Himalayan brown bear (Ursus arctos), Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula) and mountain weasel (Mustela altaica).
  • the Park is potential snow leopard habitat. I
  • t connects three Himalayan landscapes: the greater Himalayas of Jammu and Kashmir, the trans-Himalayas of Ladakh (through Zanskar) and the lesser Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh.
  • The Park is strategically located and its high passes connect snow leopard populations in the Himalayan and trans-Himalayan regions to the global snow leopard range.
  • This is important as the Park thus acts as a corridor and enables gene flow, vital for healthy populations.

Source: DTE

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