1 Tahrcountry Musings: Snow leopards may be more common than previously thought

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Snow leopards may be more common than previously thought

Snow leopard (Panthera uncia), is the world’s, most mysterious and the least studied big cat. New studies are now breaking fresh ground bringing encouraging results about their numbers. New estimates focused on areas described as 'Snow Leopard Conservation Units,' covering only 44 percent of the snow leopard's extensive range (which extends over roughly 3 million km2 or 1,158,306 square miles) suggests that there may be between 4,678 and 8,745 snow leopards just in these units. Previous estimates were only between 3,920 and 7,500. Satellite telemetry and camera traps gave an impetus to the new studies.
Despite the good news about the numbers of snow leopard, the species still faces multiple pressures. They are still regularly poached for their beautiful fur and killed in retaliation for taking herder's livestock.

Details appear in Snow Leopards, published by Elsevier Press and edited by Dr. Tom McCarthy and Dr. David Mallon. 

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