Ghulam Nabi Sar Faraz, head of the Provincial National Environmental Protection Agency in Badakhshan province said an earlier survey report conducted in 2012, showed that 50 to 60 snow leopards were inhabiting in Wakhan district of Badakhshan province.
Mr. Sar Faraz further added that the survey report also revealed that nearly 1,000 Marco Polo sheep are inhabiting in Wakhan district.
He said the number of snow leopards and Marco Polo sheep have considerably increased during the recent years, however he did not disclose any figure in this regard.
According to Sar Faraz, snow leopards and Marco Polo sheep were routinely hunted previously, and their number had decreased due to three decades of civil war in the country.
The snow leopard is a moderately large cat, and are widely but sparsely distributed throughout the mountains of Central Asia.
The cats freely cross the international boundaries of 12 countries, their secretive behavior and remote habitat among the highest mountains in the world add to their mystery.
Snow leopards have been described as shape-changing mountain spirits because of their mystical ability to disappear among the rocks.
They are found in Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and possibly also to Myanmar.
According to a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and USAID estimate, 100 to 200 snow leopards are left in Afghanistan and that only 2,000 are left in the entire world.
Snow leopards were last filmed by photojournalist Sean O’Connell, in a film ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ last year.