Many Pakistanis perhaps do not know that there are snow leopards in Pakistan’s northern mountains, mainly in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region. Moreover, it is little known that the snow leopard population is in perpetual conflict with farmers who live in these mountains too. Snow leopards frequently kill domestic goats and sheep which are farmers’ precious resources.
Sometime snow leopards come down in the villages from their mountain lairs and jump into a livestock corral (a pen or enclosure used to restrict livestock) engaging in ‘surplus killings’. In some instances a single snow leopard has killed up to 50 animals in an attack.
Research on snow leopard diet shows that globally about 25% of snow leopards’ food is based on domestic livestock. This number is twice as high for Pakistan. In some ways, farmers unwittingly subsidise snow leopard populations.
Despite a ban under the GB Wildlife Act of 1975 on killing and …