1 Tahrcountry Musings: Saving the Snow Leopard

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Saving the Snow Leopard

Representatives from 12 Asian nations, China, Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, met in Beijing from March 9 – 11 to frame a multinational conservation plan to save the highly endangered snow leopard. The conference was hosted by the Chinese Institute of Zoology in partnership with Panthera Foundation, and co-sponsored by the Snow Leopard Trust and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). It has been described as a watershed event in the effort to save snow leopards. Several work sessions that sought specific results, which would be immediately applicable to preserving snow leopards across their central Asian range were organised. An estimated 3,500 to 7,000 snow leopards live in the rugged mountaintops of central Asia. Dr George Schaller who did seminal studies on snow leopard made a fervent plea for their conservation. The conference drafted a vision statement for the next century.

The conference vision for Snow Leopards over the next century:
A world where snow leopards and their wild prey thrive in healthy mountain ecosystems across all major ecological settings of their entire range, and where snow leopards are revered as unique ecological, economic, and spiritual assets.

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