Greenhouse gas, illegal hunting

Snow leopard Hunted and loss of Habitat

Snow leopards are majestic, furry carnivores that lives in the Himalayas.WWF scientists and published in the June, 2012 issue of Biological Conservation, shows that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase steadily, 30 percent of snow leopard habitat in the Himalayas may be lost to treeline shift.Now, there are only 4,000 and 6,500 individuals, are sparsely distributed in the mountains of northern and central Asia, including part of the Himalaya Mountains.  In the Himalayas, snow leopards live in high alpine areas, above the treeline and generally below 5,000 meters, where they are able to track down their prey. According to the study, warmer and wetter conditions in the Himalayas will likely result in forests ascending into alpine areas, the snow leopards’ preferred habitat. Native to the Central Asian mountains, the snow leopard is a rare sight. They are hunted for their beautiful, warm fur and for their organs, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. They are insulated by thick hair, and their wide, fur-covered feet act as natural snowshoes. Snow leopards have powerful legs and are tremendous leapers, able to jump as far as 50 feet (15 meters). They use their long tails for balance and as blankets to cover sensitive body parts against the severe mountain chill. Researchers also emphasized the need to minimize pervasive threats like illegal hunting, human-wildlife conflict, and overgrazing of livestock in snow leopard habitat.  Minimizing these concurrent threats will help snow leopards better deal with the additional stress of losing habitat to climate change. We need to help  these animals to survive through the future, and protect them.

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Fast Facts

Type:
Mammal
Diet:
Carnivore
Size:
4 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 m); Tail, 36 in (91 cm)
Weight:
60 to 120 lbs (27 to 54 kg)
Protection status:
Endangered
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
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