The Snow Leopard of the Himalayas: a study of the Conservation efforts and spiritual Native Tales

“And then there was the small matter of the snow leopard, whose terrible beauty is the very stuff of human longing. Its uncompromising yellow eyes, wired into the depths of its unfathomable spirit, gaze out from the cover of innumerable editions. It is, I think, the animal I would most like to be eaten by.”
―Peter Matthiessen

Executive Summary: Many factors are likely to affect the persistence of large species, especially in an ecosystem as vulnerable as the Himalayas. Anthropogenic land use and resource use can greatly impact the survival of wildlife in this area. Due to this, anthropogenic changes need to be integrated into the biodiversity conservation plans. An animal highly impacted by these changes in Nepal is the snow leopard. Many habitats have been changed and altered yet a considerable amount of snow leopard habitats remain untouched by human alterations, and actions should be taken to assure this land remains unaltered. This project will highlight many conservation actions that can work on the snow leopard in Nepal, in addition to how it could be linked to the same conservation efforts working in other places and on different species facing the same anthropogenic alterations.

Background: One of the main anthropogenic changes we will be looking at is climate change. This is occurring on a global scale and affecting species everywhere. Finding climate-adaptive conservation planning for this species could potentially create a baseline for conservationists facing the same issue of anthropogenic climate change. Snow leopards are important to their ecosystem because they control the growth of herbivore populations, which avoids risks of overpopulation, and degradation of natural resources. Connecting spirituality to conservation brings an aspect of culture into the bigger picture. During the journey to Nepal, not only will conservation efforts be researched, but stories from the natives about the history of this symbolic animal.

Nepal has made conservation history due to their snow leopard landscape management plan, which lead the way to safeguarding this endangered species and its changing habitat. By addressing main and emerging threats to snow leopards, including climate change they created a model to be used as other countries to practice.

Travel research to be completed…


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