To promote nature-based livelihood in the Himalaya, Uttarakhand’s forest department is all set to organise snow Leopard tours for the tourists from February. The snow-leopard tours will take place in Harsil, also known as the mini Switzerland of India. Harsil is located on the banks of the Bhagirath river, on the way to Gangotri. Also Read - Planning a Trip to Singapore During COVID-19? Now, PCR Test Mandatory on Arrival
The tours will be conducted in collaboration with the state tourism department and the United Nations Programme, as per the Hindustan Times report. The tourists will be able to be part of the tour on a first-come, first-served basis. They took to Twitter to make this announcement: Also Read - Ranthambore Travel Guide: Places to Visit, Wildlife Safari, And How to Plan a Trip - All You Need to Know
Rajiv Bhartari, head of forest force of the Uttarakhand forest department, told the daily, “We have already been working in the high-altitude areas through the Secure Himalaya project, where locals have been trained in adventure sports and wildlife movement. Using that, we are working to start snow leopard tours in the high-altitude areas of Uttarkashi district, where sightings of snow leopards have increased in the past few months.”
Only six participants will be allowed for every tour, who will be accompanied by medical and forest staff.
Aparna Pandey, state project officer for Secure Himalayas told HT, “The main objective of this initiative is to connect conservation with livelihood opportunities. With these tours, the locals will get jobs as tour operators, adventure guides, cooks. They will also naturally want to work towards conservation of the animal. This model has worked successfully in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh.”