Big cats are among the most charismatic and loved animals around the world. However, today these predators are facing an increasing number of threats, which are mostly caused by human activities. Overall, their populations are declining at a disturbing rate due to loss of habitat and prey, conflicts with people, poaching and illegal trade. To raise awareness for their situation, this year’s World Wildlife Day is dedicated to the planet’s big cats and their plight.
The snow leopard is one of the acutely threatened big cat species. There may only be between 4,000 and 7,500 of these felines left in the world, and reports indicate that during the last decade, one snow leopard was killed each day on average.
More than half of those killings are thought to be carried out in retaliation or prevention of livestock attacks by snow leopards. The snow leopard shares much of its habitat with herder communities who depend on their livestock for survival. Losing a sheep, a goat or a yak to a snow leopard attack can be devastating for these people, and they often see no other option but to kill the cat in return.
The situation may look dire for the snow leopard – but there is hope for this elusive big cat!
Wherever snow leopards and their ecosystem are protected and local communities have the support they need to coexist with the predator, these cats can thrive! Cubs are being born and raised, and populations stabilize.
With your support, the Snow Leopard Trust and its partners are working with local communities in five key snow leopard countries as well as with authorities across the cat’s range to protect this magnificent feline and its habitats.
If you can, please consider making a donation to help save snow leopards today!
For more information, please follow the links below to learn about:
- The snow leopard and its behavior
- The threats the snow leopard is facing
- The Snow Leopard Trust’s conservation programs to protect these cats