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Snow Leopard Trek in Manang

Snow Leopard Trek in Manang

Jun 12, 2019
Lomash Dhamala
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The snow leopard (Panthera uncia), also known as the ounce, is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because the global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature individuals and decline about 10% until 2040. It is threatened by poaching and habitat destruction following infrastructural developments. It inhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft), ranging from eastern Afghanistan to Mongolia and western China. In the northern range countries, it also occurs at lower elevations. 

The snow leopard (Panthera uncia), also known as the ounce, is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because the global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature individuals and decline about 10% until 2040. It is threatened by poaching and habitat destruction following infrastructural developments. It inhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft), ranging from eastern Afghanistan to Mongolia and western China. In the northern range countries, it also occurs at lower elevations 

Currently there are around 300-400 estimated Snow Leopard in Nepal. There reside in a Habitat area of 30,000 km2. They are found in Api Nampa Conservation Area, Shey-Phoksundo National Park, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Annapurna Conservation Area, Manaslu Conservation Area, Langtang National Park, Sagarmatha National Park, Makalu Barun National Park and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.

Langtang Ri recently carried out a Snow Leopard Exploration with a student group from Singapore. The aim of the trip was to understand and explore the habitat of Snow Leopard in order for the students to make report on their findings and spread awareness about the protection of Snow Leopard in Singapore.

The trek was 7 days/ 6 nights long. The first night we stayed at Pisang after a long early morning bus ride from Kathmandu. The first day heading to Pisang was fully spent of the bus till Besi Sahar and Jeep ride to Pisang. We would to witness some beautiful landscape and water fall on the jeep ride.

Day 2 was the start of the trek with our destination being Manang. It was an easy day of waking with plenty of beautiful view of mountains, rivers and rock formations. Rest of the evening was rest after reaching Manang. We also stayed at Manang on our Third and Forth Day. Day 3 was an acclimatization day, where we went hiking around Gangapurna lake. We also go to witness beautiful view of Annapurna range and saw lot of flora and fauna. On Day 4, we went in search of Snow Leopard around the hills of Manang. It was a very off the beat path, so hiking was quite challenging. We didn’t see any Snow Leopard but we found Snow Leopard’s footprint markings/scraches (which was made to mark their territory) and fresh faeces. 

Next day we headed from Manang towards Yak Kharka. This was a relatively easy day of trek as well. We were also very lucky to Blue Sheep’s on the way. Blue Sheeps are also on of the main pray of Snow Leopards. We rested the remaining evening after reaching Yak Kharka, which is situated around 4100m. Next day we went hiking around the hills of Yak Kharka in search of Snow Leopard. We also found a lot people around Yak Kharka who were searching for Yarshagumba, which is a very expensive medicinal herb. Even today we could not have any sighting of the Snow Leopard, most probably due to the high number of people around the region. We returned back to our lodge in Yak Kharka after climbing up to around 4700m. Next day we headed back to Manang and after reaching Manang we drop to Besisahar where we spend the night. This day was the day day of trekking as from the next day the cleints would go to Pokhara. 

Overall it was a memorable trip will lot of useful information collected regarding Snow Leopard. Even though we were unsuccessful in the sighting of Snow Leopard, the trip was a success in order to understand the habitat of these beautiful animals.

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