Create a snow leopard conservation sanctuary in the South Island of New Zealand
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This sanctuary will provide an ecological back up environment for the threatened Himalayan snow leopard and provide an important tourism initiative where people can view them more easily than in their native environment. The southern alps have the added benefit of already hosting their native prey of Himalayan Thar or Chamois. This will assist in keeping the population of Thar in check without the expense of DOC control. Each animal would be tagged and tracked so that tourists could be helicoptered to positions to view them. This would be the only naturally living population of Snow leopard outside of the Himalayas. Snow leopards are naturally reclusive and prefer higher altitudes and so would not be a threat to people or stock.
I also believe this would be another way that the already close historical ties between the Himalayan region and NZ could be further enhanced.
Ideally I believe this initiative would be adopted by a private land owner such as a high country station or neighbouring stations that back up to the alps and would provide a useful secondary income to the region while also providing a redundancy option if the population in the Himalayas is decimated by people or disease.
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