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Nature Nuggets

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Ghosts of the Mountains!

Not really a ghost! But this edition is dedicated to one of the most elusive mountain cats, the ‘Snow Leopards’. It’s rare though, but watching a snow leopard perform a parkour at an elevation of 3000-4000 feet along steep, broken terrain like cliffs, rocky outcrops and ravines must be a jaw dropping sight.

On October 23, 2013, political leaders from 12 Asian countries came together for the first time to endorse the “Bishkek Declaration” on the conservation of Snow Leopards. Since then, these countries that are home to this big cat have committed to raising awareness for the plight of an iconic species and declared October 23rd as International Snow Leopard Day. 

Often known as the “ghosts of the mountain”, they are so rarely seen and spend most of their lives in solitude. Dive in to the latest issue of Wisdom Nuggets and learn more about the ‘Shan’ of Ladakh, the snow leopards that inhabit the Himalayas from the western to its eastern ends.  

The snow leopard is an indicator of the health and sustainability of the mountain ecosystem that provides water to up to 60 per cent of the world’s population (Central Asia and the Tibetan Plateau)? For the people who share space with this magnificent cat, it is an important representation of their spiritual and natural wealth. Read this article by WWF India to know more facts about these mysterious cats.

Watch this video and learn more interesting facts about the snow leopards.

Get creative and link the environmental education with your favorite subject in the curriculum!

  1. Language – Design an e-newsletter with an aim to spread awareness about snow leopards. The newsletter should be informative acknowledging sources and credits. Give a catchy title to it.

  1. Social Studies –Mark different habitats of snow leopard on the Map of India.

  1. Math – A Corral can resolve conflict between snow leopards and humans. A single 15×15 mt2 corral made using 250 meters of metal cable can house 275 sheep and goats. An agency installed 37 corrals in the western Himalayan region with INR 5,55,000. How much money will they need if they had to build corrals for 31,075 sheep and goats?
  1. Science – Compare the morphology and habitats of four cats—snow leopard (Panthera uncia), Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis), jaguar (Panthera onca), and cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Write your observations in a tabular form.

Globally, there could be as few as 4,000-6000 snow-leopards in the wild, however the exact number is unknown as they are extremely elusive. The main threats they face are habitat loss and deterioration, human-wildlife conflict, loss of prey, poaching for the illegal trade, and climate change. As a result, snow leopards really need our help! Show your support for snow leopards by taking these easy actions today:  

1. Discuss and Learn – Discuss about the importance of Snow Leopards on our planet with your classmates and teachers. Hold group discussions and some really interesting facts about snow leopards.

2. Pursue a career in conservation –Read about Charudutt Mishra and his phenomenal work for snow leopard conservation. Become a Planet Ninja and choose your career in conservation.

3. Volunteer – Devote your time and volunteer with any organization working on the conservation of Snow Leopards.

In this edition’s DIY Activity, help this snow leopard find it’s way through the mountain maze! Complete this snow leopard maze and share your completed activity with us! Click a photo or scan and send it us at oneplanetacademy@wwfindia.net

Upload the photo on your social media account and tag us @wwfindia with hashtags #InternationalSnowLeopardDay #MySnowLeopardMaze  #OnePlanetAcademy #DIYActivity

Let’s take this pop quiz and test your knowledge about the Ghosts of the mountains!  

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