Forum > Wildlife > 3 Reasons the Snow Leopard to Could Be a Part of History Soon

Posted by Manisha Gupta on January 24, 2017

 

Snow Leopards are natives to the cold climatic regions where human population is very scarce. They live in harsh conditions on earth. Their white-grey coat perfectly blends in with the snow-clapped mountains of Asia and protects them from the adverse climatic change. Basically these wild cats are from carnivorous family and breed on sheep, ibex, hares, and marmots. They’re usually found at high, rugged mountain landscapes at heights of over 3,500 meters. With the increasing number of days, months, and years, the numbers of snow leopards is diminishing and very soon they will soon become extinct. If proper measures are not taken to save snow leopards by the responsible citizens of the countries and government authorities, very soon our ecosystem will experience a shift that will cause discord. 


According to a recent study, there are only 7,500–4,500 snow leopards left and they are too under attack for various reasons. These snow leopards are found high in the mountains of the Himalayas and in Central Asia. They are sporadically distributed across the globe in countries such as Central Asia, China, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Nepal.


Saving snow leopards is the need of the hour. These snow leopards are everyday under attack and their number is depleting rampantly for various reasons. One of the major concerns for their loss is climatic conditions. With global warming scenario all over the world, it will first affect the high snow and mountainous regions. Unfortunately, these places happen to be the habitat of these snow leopards. If their habitat is destroyed or changed, they move towards other nearby areas for survival. Again, these nearby areas are densely populated with humans. Humans feel a threat with the snow leopards and start attacking them. 


The human-animal conflict is the second important issue that needs to be tackled. The snow leopard preys on mountain sheep and goats. With less or no snow leopards, these herbivores will feed on all the grasslands and vegetation, thereby leaving no food for other wildlife. The same landscape makes available food and other important resources for the inhabitants; including medicine, heat, wood for shelter, and fuel. So by saving the snow leopard, we’re benefiting the whole natural ecosystem in these areas and the people who rely on them.


Third and the saddest reason behind the decreasing number of snow leopards is poaching or illegal wildlife trade. As their natural prey becomes difficult to find, snow leopards are forced to kill livestock such as horses, sheep, goats, and calves for survival. The farmers in turn hunt these snow leopards and put them down. 


Saving snow leopard and its natural habitat is critical in protecting the environment and the ecosystem as a whole. There are many wildlife conservation groups that are working with local communities to monitor snow leopards and reduce their killing. There are reports of the government bodies working in close connection with Kanchenjunga conservation area in Nepal and their inhabitants to protect the snow leopards and reduce the conflict between the animal and the local residents.

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Susan Sharma says

May 08, 2018 at 07:27 PM

Listen to a talk by Dr.Koustab Sharma on snow leopard conservation here

https://youtu.be/gQ6RhOiZyLQ



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