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Snow leopard poaching main culprit for decline: WWF

Last Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014 - 19:30

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Urging the people to save the snow leopards from going extinct and with just 400-700 of them now remain in India, a leading conservation organisation says that this strikingly beautiful endangered species are in “real danger”.

Launching a campaign “Save Our Snow Leopards”, WWF-India said that poaching is the major challenge for the protection of this magnificent species found in the high altitude Himalayan region.

It said snow leopards are poached for their pelts, while their bones and other body parts are also in demand for use in traditional Asian medicines.
Retaliatory killing of snow leopards is also a major threat faced by the species since they often attack livestock, causing economic loss to local communities, WWF-India said.

Found across almost 1,29,000 sq kms in India, in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, snow leopards also face habitat and prey loss with the increase of human settlements and developmental activities in their territories.

“But with an estimated population of only 400-700 in India, there is a dire need to observe, study and develop ways to help conserve this rare and endangered species,” it said.

The WWF-India said that the snow leopard is at the apex of the mountain eco-system and is also an indicator species for the high altitude mountain ecosystem.
“By protecting the snow leopard, we ensure the conservation of our fragile mountain landscapes that are one of the largest sources of freshwater for the Indian subcontinent,” it said.

Stressing on the need to observe, study and develop ways to conserve the world`s best mountain climbers, the WWF-India said that it`s campaign “Save Our Snow Leopards” is a call for everyone to come forward in support of the beautiful species.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Friday, April 25, 2014 - 19:28
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