Survival of snow leopards endangered: expert
English.news.cn 2011-10-17 23:50:51
ULAN BATOR, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) — Poaching, mining and invasion of herders are threatening the survival of the snow leopard, one of the world’s most endangered animals, an official of the World Wildlife Fund in Mongolia warned Monday.
“Big threats for the snow leopard are poaching and conflicts with local people because of attacks on livestock of herders by snow leopards in the last few years as herders moved to mountain areas in the winter season and occupied the habitat of snow leopards,” said Onon Yo.
Illegal trade of skins and skulls of snow leopards and a new trend of mining operations in the snow leopard’s habitat also pose big threats to the big cats.
Onon issued the warning on the sidelines of an international conference on snow leopard conservation here.
Snow leopards are restricted to the high mountains of Central Asia with a population of fewer than 2,500.
Many measures have been taken to protect this extremely endangered animal. About 27.5 percent of snow leopards’ potential habitats are put in protection areas and many monitoring programs had been launched in certain habitats, said Onon.
The researchers use many different methodologies, for example, GPS collars for determining the movement and migration of snow leopards, Onon said.