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Ladakh adopts State animal and bird

Context:

Ladakh adopted two endangered species, snow leopard and black-necked crane, as State animal and State bird, two years after it was carved out as a separate Union Territory (UT) from the erstwhile State of J&K.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Species in News)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Snow leopard
  2. About the Black-necked crane

About the Snow leopard

  • The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia.
  • It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  • The snow leopard, like all big cats, is listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which makes trading of animal body parts (i.e., fur, bones and meat) illegal in CITES signatory countries.
  • Global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature Snow Leopards.
  • It inhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m.
  • It is threatened by poaching and habitat destruction following infrastructural developments.

Snow Leopards in India and their conservation

  • In India, their geographical range encompasses a large part of the western Himalayas including the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern Himalayas. The last three states form part of the Eastern Himalayas – a priority global region of WWF and the Living Himalayas Network Initiative.
  • Project Snow Leopard (PSL): It promotes an inclusive and participatory approach to conservation that fully involves local communities.
  • SECURE Himalaya: Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded the project on conservation of high-altitude biodiversity and reducing the dependency of local communities on the natural ecosystem. This project is now operational in four snow leopard range states, namely, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Sikkim.

About the Black-necked crane

  • The Black-necked Crane is a medium-sized crane in Asia that breeds on the Tibetan Plateau and remote parts of India and Bhutan. 
  • It is whitish-gray, with a black head, red crown patch, black upper neck and legs, and white patch to the rear of the eye.
  • It is revered in Buddhist traditions and culturally protected across much of its range.
  • It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. It is listed on Appendix I of CITES.
  • The estimated population of the black-necked crane is between 8800 and 11000 individuals.
  • These birds are legally protected in China, India and Bhutan.
  • However habitat modification, drying of lakes and agriculture are threats to the populations. In many areas, dogs belonging to herders are a major threat to young birds.

-Source: The Hindu

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