The snow leopard is a large cat weighing between 27-54 kg (60-120 lbs), which is native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia. It is characterized by long thick fur varying from smoky gray to yellowish tan and bearing dark gray to black open rosettes on the body with small spots of the same color on the head and larger spots on the legs and tail. The snow leopard is hunted down for its pelt to be used in clothes and other garments, and for its bones and other body parts for traditional medicine.
In addition, snow leopards are subjected to retribution killings by herders as they sometimes prey on domestic livestock. As a result, snow leopard have declined in number and is now held to be threatened and is now considered as endangered species. Considering the nature of the threats leading to the decline of snow leopard population, conservation efforts should focus on educating herders and providing them with alternative solutions to their economic needs that does not pose any danger to the snow leopard populations.
Conclusion Herder in areas where snow leopards hunt rely and are almost entirely tied up on their herds for their economic needs. Providing alternative means of protecting their livestock may increase the likelihood that herders will give their commitment not to hunt, trap or poison snow leopards and may even cooperate in the conservation effort to save the endangered species.
Furthermore, providing or teaching human inhabitants in areas with snow leopards with alternative livelihood to gain additional income for their families, in tandem with providing livestock protection, will save the endangered species from being hunted down for their pelts. These methods are critical for the conservation of the snow leopards and is based on the fact that any effective conservation efforts depend on the support of the local people.
Butler, R. A. (2008). How to Save Snow Leopards: An interview with Dr.Rodney Jackson of the Snow Leopard Conservancy. Retrieved June 04, 2009, from http://news. mongabay. com/2008/1028-interview_jackson. html Kewa. org (2000). Snow Leopard Endangered. Retrieved June 04, 2009, from http://www. kewa. org/snow. html Klappenbach, L. (2003). Snow Leopard Populations in Sharp Decline. In Laura’s Animals / Wildlife Blog. Retrieved June 04, 2009, from http://animals. about. com/b/2003/08/15/snow-leopard-populations-sharp-decline. htm Marshall, S. (2009). Saving the Snow Leopard. Retrieved June 04, 2009, from
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