India has ratified and played an important role in the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP), a high-level intergovernmental alliance of the 12 snow leopard range countries. The Governments have jointly initiated an effort to conduct a Population Assessment of the World’s Snow Leopards (PAWS).
One of the key biological Indicators under the project is the status of snow leopard population in the project landscapes. Currently, there is a lack of precise population estimation of snow leopard population in India which hampers effective conservation management and planning. The project team assisted the Ministry to draft and design the ‘Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI)’, which is expected to lead to scientifically robust national and state wise population estimates of the species both inside and outside protected areas.
The protocol was launched by the Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Sh. Prakash Javadekar during the 4th GSLEP Steering Committee Meeting in New Delhi in October 2019.
This National Protocol, developed by the MoEF&CC with Wildlife Institute of India and Nature Conservation Foundation is being implemented through the SECURE Himalaya project for snow leopard and prey population estimation in the snow leopard range States and Union Territories in India.