Snow leop­ard no longer en­dan­gered

Shepparton News - - WORLDNEWS -

BANGKOK: The elu­sive snow leop­ard — long con­sid­ered en­dan­gered — has been up­graded to ‘‘vul­ner­a­ble’’, though con­ser­va­tion­ists warned the new classification does not mean they are safe.

The an­i­mals still face se­ri­ous chal­lenges in­clud­ing poach­ing and loss of prey in their high Hi­malayan habi­tat.

‘‘The species still faces a high risk of ex­tinc­tion in the wild and is likely still de­clin­ing — just not at the rate pre­vi­ously thought,’’ said Tom McCarthy, head of the snow leop­ard pro­gram at the big cat con­ser­va­tion group Pan­thera.

Snow leop­ards had been listed as en­dan­gered since 1972.

The re­clas­si­fi­ca­tion fol­lowed a three-year as­sess­ment that de­ter­mined there were at least 2500 ma­ture snow leop­ards in the wild.

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