The Nepal government will to allocate Rs50mn for snow leopard conservation in the Himalayas.
Inaugurating the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystems Protection Programme (GSLEP) second steering committee meeting, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the funds would be used for establishment of a research centre.
Dahal said the government plans to motivate youths involved in the sector to undertake scientific research and investigation. GSLEP steering committee meeting concluded on Friday after issuing a Kathmandu Declaration.
Maheshwor Dhakal, joint secretary at the ministry of forest and soil conservation, said an agenda has been set to open the Himalayan Research Centre.
Of the 12 countries where snow leopards are found, ministers from six countries, including Nepal and secretaries and officials from other countries, took part in the steering committee meeting.
The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because, as of 2003, the size of the global wild population was estimated at 4,080–6,590 adults.
Fewer than 2,500 individuals may be reproducing in the wild. As of 2016, estimates for the size of the global population vary from at least 4,080 to about 8,700 individuals.
In Nepal, the population of snow leopard is estimated at 300 to 500.
GSLEP’s next conference will be held in September, in Kyrgyzstan with pre-conference taking place in Pakistan in July.
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