Snow leopard conservation brings socioeconomic benefits to Rumbak village

#1 Feb 19th, 2018, 22:25
Join Date:
Dec 2008
In the land of awesomeness
  • aarosh is offline

Tashi Tsonma of Rumbak Village fetches hot water from a solar heater. (Photo by Sharada Balasubramanian)

Past a vast expanse of brown, barren ridged mountains crowned in snow, glaciers, icicles and cold streams from snow melt, a narrow winding road leads to Rumbak village within the Hemis National Park in Ladakh. Rumbak, which hosts the critically endangered snow leopards in its vicinity, is also home to nine Ladakhi farmer households.

On reaching the end of a bumpy road, the villagers get off their vehicle and open a barricade. “There is no road from here. You have to walk for 10 km to reach the village,” says 33-year-old Tsewang Gyaltsan, a villager from Rumbak. With no medical and transport facilities in this remote village, he recalls taking his pregnant wife to Leh three months ahead of delivery.

Mules are the villagers’ only vehicles. From the point where the road ends, people mount sacks of flour, vegetables and other groceries on their mules. “The mules carry our gas cylinders too,” Gyaltsan told They carried the solar panels to electrify the village. In fact, the panels were designed according to the carrying capacity of the mules.

Loss of livestock

The villagers in this region face not just the harsh terrain and weather, but also constant conflict with snow leopards that take away their livestock. “Normally, villagers lose 2% to 6% of income to livestock depredation; this number varies across regions,” Tsewang Namgail, director of Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust (SLC-IT) told

The key issue among villagers is losing their livestock. Snow leopards do not kill one, but all the livestock. There is a myth among Ladakhis that snow leopards drink only blood and do not eat the flesh.

“To mitigate this conflict, we thought that the number of livestock and livestock owners should be reduced,” said Jigmet Takpa, chief conservator of forests, Leh. For instance, if 10 people were into livestock business, only one or two should maintain livestock. This would be possible only if villagers had an alternate livelihood.
#2 Feb 25th, 2018, 23:41
Join Date:
Jun 2007
  • captain bruce is offline

Only some of the text is reproduced - folks should press the link to for the full story

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Docomo dongle and Snow Leopard.... Mar 26th, 2013 01:55 3 1949 Electronics in India
Snow leopard sighting Nov 18th, 2012 02:52 0 1231 Himachal Pradesh
Snow Leopard in October (Hemis)? May 17th, 2012 14:52 3 1673 Indian Wildlife and National Parks
Snow Leopard Guest House Sep 8th, 2011 13:57 1 1323 Ladakh & Zanskar
Snow Leopard Sighting Feb 8th, 2010 15:52 16 4060 Ladakh & Zanskar

Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© 2018
Page Load Success