For the first time ever, the Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS), Trashiyangtse caught the footage of Snow leopard (Panthera uncia, Schreber 1775) on camera trap at Wangayla under Bumdeling geog confirming its presence in the park area. Wangayla is about 4698 masl. The cameras were installed in July, 2017 and retrieved after 90 days later.
Although anecdotal evidence of this elusive creature indicated its presence in the Wildlife Sanctuary, not a single image was captured in series of camera trapping exercises carried out earlier. For last seven years, the camera traps setup involved use of systematic grids (4 km x 4 km) during national snow leopard survey and snow-balling techniques based on the experience and knowledge of the local residents used in the potential areas.
The rugged terrain, harsh weather conditions, chilled gust of mountain winds and snow Peak Mountains did not deter our forefront staff for the quest of the mountain queen.
As a befitting tribute on the day, the BWS marked the International Snow leopard day on 23rd October 2017, the management and field staff proudly confirmed presence of snow leopard and rejoiced with first ever snow leopard image.
The management assures to undertake greater responsibilities in conducting regular surveillance and monitoring. More camera traps will be placed in the possible areas of high peaks and inaccessible areas of the Wildlife Sanctuary. Snow leopards are regarded as indicator species of the healthy mountain ecosystem and its presence signifies existence of virtually sound ecosystem in northern areas.
Submitted by: Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary, Trashiyangtse