Fading footprints: the killing and trade of snow leopards

May 7, 2007 rposas

The snow Leopards are one of the endangered big cats that live in mountain terrains. The global population of Snow Leopards is estimated to be between about 4000 and 7000, but there have been a sharp decline in populations over the past decades.Hunting for the animals’ skins has contributed to the species’s endangered status and legal measures had to be taken for its protection.

Although, pelts appear to be the main Snow Leopard product in demand there is also evidence of demand for live animals for zoos and circuses along with other body parts found in trade include bones, nails, meat and the sexual organs of male cats. Traditional Asian medicine uses the Snow Leopard bones. They say that they have medicinal properties that are similar to Tiger bones.

There has been evidence of the trade of Snow Leopard bones in China and Nepal. However, it is not clear if bones are the main reason why they are killing the Snow Leopards. There are also other factors that are affecting the lives of these Snow Leopards. These other factors are the killing and loss of wild prey, habitat fragmentation, and accidental trapping or poisoning.

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