23 October 2016, Thimphu: On the fourth International Snow Leopard Day, Bhutan joins other global communities to celebrate this important day and proudly declares an estimated 96 individuals to be found across the mountainous terrain of Northern Bhutan. Bhutan might be the only unique place where this species thrive in shared landscape with the nomadic herders.
The nationwide survey was completed by a team of national staff from Department of Forest and Park Services over a period of almost two years commencing August 2015, initally, with the sign and prey base survey followed closely by the camera trap survey. About 147 forest staffs were involved in the survey, hiking for months through some of the country’s highest, steepest and remotest mountain ranges to confirm the presence of the elusive and endangered cat commonly known as the “Ghost of High Mountains”. They conducted systematic surveys of tracks as well as installing camera traps in 223 locations.
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