Using camera traps, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has captured the elusive and rare snow leopard on film in Afghanistan for a second time. The feline was caught on film in the Sast Valley in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor.
The snow leopard is currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN. The cat is also listed as protected under Afghanistan’s new endangered species list, which outlaws hunting it. The IUCN estimates that only 100-200 snow leopards still survive in Afghanistan.
Researchers with WCS are conducting wildlife surveys in the remote region of the Wakhan Corridor with the goal to establish a new protected area. The region also contains the Pallas’s cat Otocolobus manul and the Altai weasel Mustela altaica, both are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN.
Other notable mammals include the Marco Polo sheep Ovis ammon polii, Siberian ibex Capra ibex sibirica, brown bear Ursus arctos, wolf Canis lupus, red fox Vulpes vulpes, Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx,) , stone marten or beech marten Martes foina, stoat Mustela erminea, long-tailed marmot Marmota caudate, and the Tolai hare Lepus tolai.
Afghanistan announced its first national park, Band-e-Amir, on Earth Day (April 22nd) of this year.
(06/09/2009) It has been estimated that Afghanistan only has 100 snow leopards left, however photos from camera traps placed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) show that there may be hope for snow leopards in the war-torn nation after all. Working in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor, WCS set up five camera traps. Four of the five camera traps took photos of snow leopards, including 22 images in total.
(06/08/2009) Thirty-three species are included in Afghanistan’s first-ever listing of protected wildlife. Well-known animals like the snow leopard, wolves, and brown bears received full legal protection from hunting and harvesting alongside lesser-known species like the paghman salamander, goitered gazelle, and Himalayan elm tree. The protected species list consists of twenty mammals, seven birds, four plants, one amphibian, and one insect.
(04/22/2009) War-wearied Afghanis received uplifting news on Earth Day this year. Their nation has announced the creation of the nation’s first national park, Band-e-Amir, protecting a one-of-a-kind landscape encompassing six sky-blue lakes separated by natural dams. Announced by Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) at a ceremony in the FAO Building at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock in Kabul this morning, key funding for the park was provided by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID).