The good news is that the number of snow leopards in the world is estimated at 4,500 to 6,500. The bad news is that this estimate could be much lower due to a lack of data on some populations and because illegal poaching continues to be a significant threat to their survival. Mostly human activities threaten snow leopards.
The illegal hunting of and lust for making the wild animals pet seriously affect the snow leopards. According to the study by IUCN, there are 3920 to 7500 leopards are present in the wild.
Snow Leopards are called vulnerable species by IUCN. It is considered an endangered species and included in red threatened species by the IUCN.
Where do snow leopards live?
Snow leopards live in the mountains of Central Asia. They can be found in countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, and Tajikistan.
Snow leopards prefer to live in cold environments where there is plenty of prey. They can also be found mainly in the Himalayas because of extreme cold weather. They can be found in high mountains, mainly in the severe cold weather.
- Humans: As snow leopards move around their home ranges, they often come into conflict with humans. The land is cleared for agriculture, development, or grazing livestock, which reduces the amount of habitat available for the cats.
- Illegal hunting: Snow leopards are killed for their fur, bones, and other body parts used in traditional Asian medicines.
- Inbreeding: Limited genetic diversity can make populations more vulnerable to disease and other threats.
- Climate change: As the climate changes, the snow leopards’ habitat is changing, too. Severe weather conditions and the fastest melting of glaciers really affect this animal. This could lead to loss of habitat and reduced prey populations.
There are a number of organizations and people who are working to save the snow leopard. Some of these groups are:
Snow Leopard Trust:
This group is working to protect the cats’ habitat and raise awareness about their plight. They also work with local communities to help them live alongside the animals.
World Wildlife efforts:
This group is working to stop the illegal hunting and trade of snow leopards and their parts. They also work to protect the animals’ habitat.
People’s Trust for Endangered Species:
This group is working to raise money to help save snow leopards. They also work with local communities in China to help them for the protection of snow leopards.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species:
This group works to ensure that the trade of wildlife doesn’t threaten species’ survival. The snow leopards have been protected under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since 1 July 1975.
Why are snow leopards important?
Snow leopards are essential for a number of reasons:
- They are an apex predator which means that they play a crucial role in their ecosystem by keeping the populations of their prey species in check.
- They are an indicator species which means that they can be used to measure the health of their environment. It is also essential for the balance of the atmosphere.
What is WWF doing to protect snow leopards?
WWF is working to protect snow leopards and their habitat through a number of different programs:
WWF is working to protect the cats’ habitat by working with local communities to help them live alongside the animals. They are also working to create protected areas for the cats.
WWF is working to stop the illegal hunting and trade of snow leopards and their parts.
Education and Awareness:
WWF is working to raise awareness about the plight of the snow leopard and what people can do to help protect them.You can help protect snow leopards by starting a campaign on local and international levels.
Are snow leopards extinct in 2021?
There is no evidence to support the claim that snow leopards will become extinct in 2021. While their population is declining, they are still found in the wild in a number of countries. You can help protect them by supporting organizations like WWF that are working to save them.
Do snow leopards eat carnivores?
Snow leopards are carnivores, and they mainly eat ungulates, which are hoofed animals. They will also eat smaller prey species like rabbits and hares. They have been known to eat carnivores, but this is not common.