Happy International Snow Leopard Day!

The Jaguar

Snow Leopard by Jean Beaufort. CC0 1.0 Public Domain.Snow Leopard by Jean Beaufort. CC0 1.0 Public Domain.

Today, October 23, is International Snow Leopard Day! This is an unofficial holiday that was created in 2013 at a meeting of all twelve Snow Leopard Range States in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The purpose of International Snow Leopard Day is to educate the public about the plight facing this extraordinary cat: an aim that is much needed.

Snow leopards, known scientifically as Panthera uncia, are listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. No one knows exactly how many of them there are, but the NGO Panthera claims there could be between 4,500 and 10,000 wild snow leopards left (2016b). That number is likely to be falling. A recent report concluded that from 221 to 450 snow leopards have been illegally killed every year since 2008 (McGrath, 2016). This poaching is largely motivated by human-wildlife…

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