Infrastructure assessment in snow leopard habitat of Nepal
The evaluation shows that among the six-infrastructure themes that this assessment focused on, roads seem to have the highest amount of impact on the snow leopard habitat. Experts’ ranking ranged from 61% for road to 12.4% for settlement. Impact due to high density road infrastructure on snow leopard habitat ranges from 5,725km2 to 17,775km2. Prediction maps show an area (greater than 90 percentile) measuring between 525km2 and 625km2 as high impact zone in snow leopard habitat, affected by infrastructural development. The study concluded that the current cumulative effect of infrastructural development on snow leopard habitat is low. However, future impact scenario shows an increase of 50% impact area, most of which within or traversing through the core snow leopard habitats. Therefore, it is likely that snow leopard habitats would be subjected to a high degree of fragmentation, deterioration and human disturbances in the future.