Snow leop­ard now ‘vul­ner­a­ble’

Western Mail - - NEWS -

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 was an­nounced on Thurs­day by the In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture.

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