Around 60% of the world’s snow leopard habitat are in China. Yet, in China as in other countries, robust population estimates to guide snow leopard conservation efforts remain scarce. But there are efforts underway to change that – highlighted most recently on International Snow Leopard Day by the release of a report on the status of China’s snow leopards.
A scientific conference and a Nature Watch Festival in China’s Yushu Prefecture, in the heart of the country’s snow leopard habitat, highlight the region’s rich biodiversity and community-based conservation efforts.
Data from camera traps and GPS collars show endangered snow leopards dispersing to distant mountain ranges across stretches of deserted steppe, swimming across streams and rivers considered impossible to cross, and freely passing country borders.
PhD student Liu Mingyu is studying interactions between free-ranging dogs and native wildlife in China’s Qinghai province. During his work, he captured an extraordinary video of three wild snow leopards enjoying the afternoon sun. This is his story!
Our Regional Ecologist, Justine Shanti Alexander, had her first live snow leopard encounter on China’s Tibetan Plateau last month. She shares the unforgettable experience (and the video the team took) with us in this blog post.
Research cameras set up by local citizen-scientists near the source of the Mekong river have captured images of snow leopards and common leopards using the same habitat – it’s the first time these two cat species have been photographed in the same location.
A new study shows that climate change is threatening to disrupt or fragment large parts of the snow leopard’s mountain habitat. There are three core habitat zones that appear to have the potential to be safe refugia for the species though.
Snow leopards are notoriously difficult to monitor, in part because they reside in remote areas with unfriendly terrain. But they aren’t the only ones who live there.
An expert meeting held in Urumqi highlighted the enormous progress that’s been made in snow leopard research and conservation in China over the past years. Shan Shui, Snow Leopard Trust and Panthera have worked in partnership in China since 2009.
Feral dogs have been seen chasing snow leopards and bears away from their prey. Growing populations of free-ranging dogs are becoming a real threat to wildlife in many parts of the snow leopard’s range. Liu Mingyu, a researcher in China, is tracking dogs with GPS collars to better understand their behavior – and eventually address the threat they pose.