October 23, Bumthang: The Wangchuck Centennial National Park is one of the protected areas in Bhutan, which has around 17 snow leopard out of 96 individuals in the country as per the National Snow Leopard Survey.
To mark the Global Snow Leopard Day with this year’s theme “Save the Ghost of mountain” regarding importance of snow leopard in mountain ecosystem and threat post for its survival due to anthropogenic activities and climate change, over 1200 students from different schools under the area of Wangchuck Centennial National Park gathered at Wangduechhoeling Lower Secondary School in Bumthang.
The celebration began with the raising of the National Flag in presence of Dasho Dzongdag of Bumthang as chief guest of the day, followed by national anthem and marchhang ceremony. The Chief Forestry Officer of Wangchuck Centennial National Park welcomed the chief guest and spoke to the gathering on the importance of the day.
During the opening remark, Dasho Dzongda mentioned the importance of Snow leopard in ecosystem and the role of individuals to maintain healthy population of snow leopard in the wild.
The students from five different schools showcased different competitive programs to mark the day. The program consisted of quiz, debate and skit based on various themes related to the day. The event mainly highlighted on livelihood of herders, herder-snow leopard conflicts and measures to mitigate such problems as most of the students were from herder’s community. The park officials attending the program were overwhelmed by the knowledge, attitude and practices that were showcased by the students towards conservation of snow leopard. The officials regarded that the knowledge gained would help in formulation of management strategies and for future intervention in snow leopard conservation. The national park also hosted a lunch for the participants. The day came to an end with distribution of prizes to students and schools.
The day was successfully marked with the fund support from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Bhutan program and directives from the Department of Forest and Park Services.
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