Rare snow leopard, Himalayan brown bear, Tahr sighted in Gangotri National Park
A rare Snow leopard, a Himalayan Brown bear and several Himalayan Tahrs were recently sighted in the Gangotri National Park in Uttarakhand, in an indication of the rich biodiversity of the region, said officials.
“Snow leopard, Himalayan Brown bear, Himalayan Tahr and many other smaller fauna have been sighted and camera trapped in the park in the past few weeks. The presence of all these animals indicates that the park has a rich biodiversity and there is a stable prey base,” said RN Srivastava, divisional forest officer of Gangotri National Park.
He added that the animals were camera trapped and sighted by forest patrolling staff during the ongoing snow leopard estimation process in the landscape.
“We have installed 25 camera traps in the area for the estimation process, and all are above the height of 3000m. Even though the Snow leopard estimation process is underway, the sighting of a Himalayan Brown bear shows the presence of an animal not sighted commonly. With this information about the different kinds of fauna, we can prioritise the use of our resources for conservation,” added the divisional forest officer.
Pratap Singh Panwar, range officer of Gangotri National Park, said four teams were patrolling Nelong, Gaumukh and Kedartal areas of the park, when they sighted these animals.
“During patrolling, we sighted snow leopards, whose movements were captured by us. We have now removed the camera traps after which the images are being studied. The information so far shows that the ecology of the park is flourishing,” said Panwar.
On November 2, the forest department started the snow leopard estimation process in the state. This is the first estimation process being undertaken after the release of a national protocol for snow leopard population assessment last year.
The estimation process is being conducted in 10 forest divisions in higher reaches of districts like Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Pithoragarh.