Trekking in Manang | Manang Village | Snow Leopard
Responsible Treks is proud to collaborate with Global Primate Network (GPN) in promoting unique experiences of tracking snow leopards in the vicinity of Annapurna Range. We are bringing several years of field experiences of GPN and its field biologist along with Responsible treks decades in the tourism industry for making the trip of the lifetime. GPN has been doing intensive camera trapping research of snow leopard in Manang valley from the last three years along with community-based conservation activities. GPN’s field biologist Tashi R. Ghale (native of the area) brings more than 15 years of experience in wildlife photography in the valley. This trip is more than just snow leopard sighting, it will blend science, tourism, and conservation in a unique way for the betterment of snow leopard, its habitat, and local economy adding steps to sustainable tourism.
Manang valley in the Annapuma Conservation Area, Nepal lies in the rain shadow of the Annapurna mountain range and precipitation is low (c. 500 mm). The vegetation consists of grasslands with interspersed scrub characterized by Juniperus species, Caragana species, Rosa sericea, Ephedra spp. and Lonicera spp. above 4800 m vegetation is scarce and consists mainly of Rhododendron species, Potentilla biflora, and Saxifraga spp. The snow leopard Panthera uncia, Wolf Canis lupus, Golden jackal Canis aureus and Red fox Vulpes vulpes are the only large mammalian predators and the Blue sheep Pseudois nayaur and Himalayan musk deer Moschus chrysogaster are the main wild ungulate in the valley. Small mammalian predator includes Pallas’s cat Otocolobus manul (New Cat species to Nepal only present in Manang valley), Beech Marten Martes foina, Mountain weasel Mustela altaica and prey like Royle's pika Ochotona roylei, large eared pika Ochotona macrotis and Mountain voles Alticola species. The Manang valley is also rich in large avian diversity. It includes species like Himalayan griffon Gyps himalayensis, Bearded vulture Gypaetus barbatus, and Golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos, Tibetan snow cock Tetraogallus tibetanus, Himalayan snow cock Tetraogallus himalayensis and Chukar partridge Alectoris chukar along with many other small bird species.
We offer snow leopard tracking in this valley where snow leopard density is one of the highest in Nepal Himalaya; 5-7 individuals per 100 sq. km. GPN’s camera trapping survey in the valley has captured incredible images of snow leopards from many locations. GPN shares high capture rate of snow leopard in the valley, which indicates high abundance of snow leopards.
Cent percent manual sighting of snow leopard in the field is not promised but the chances of a sighting are very high. Our field guide will take through key snow leopard habitat making ample opportunities of seeing snow leopard signs such as feces, pugmark, and scrape along with a visit to few of the camera trapping sites where camera are in operation and can learn about setting camera trapping.