I didn’t know this, but 2015 has been designated as International Year of the Snow Leopard. In addition in 2013,
October 23 was designated International Snow Leopard Day. Government leaders in the 12 countries that have snow leopards got together at a Global Snow Leopard Forum.
The 12 countris Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are working together to provide protected spaces halt the decline.
Snow leopards are an endangered species. There are an estimated 3900-6300 snow leopards left in the wild.
The main threats to snow leopards:
- Loss of Prey/ Loss of habitats: People are encroaching on their habitats, leading to less area, less prey.
- Poaching/ Illegal hunting: Snow leopards are wanted for their pelts and for zoos or entertainment. Their bones are used as a replacement for Tiger bones in Chinese medicine.
- Local Fears of snow leopards killing livestock
- Mining has grown in areas where Snow Leopards live. Chemicals and explosives kill off the habitats and bring in more people.
- Societal Strife in particular wars. Most of the snow leopards are in areas where wars and political strife are common.
- Snow Leopard Trust is involved in 5 of the 12 countries. 75% of the worlds snow leopards are in this 5 countries.
- Snow Leopard Conservancy
- Panthera Corporation.
- Snow Leopard Network,
- World Bank‘s Global Tiger Initiative