Snow Leopard Conservation

Introduction:

Snow leopards live in the wildest regions of Asia, from Mongolia and Siberia in the north to Pakistan and Myanmar in the south. They live in such remote areas and are so stealthy that it's difficult to even guess how many there are. The best estimate is that there are 3,500 to 7,000 snow leopards living in the wild.

It is ironic that the success in protecting tigers from the Asian traditional medicine market has put more pressure on snow leopards. Tiger bones are highly prized in traditional medicine and a recent report has a complete snow leopard skeleton fetching $10,000 on the black market in Kyrgyzstan.

We spoke with Thomas McCarthy of the International Snow Leopard Trust about his work on the natural history of snow leopards and some of the programs the Trust is developing to protect them in the wild.

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