Good news from the snow leopard realm: Hundreds of these rare big cats live in Mongolia, although their habitats are shrinking and climate change is affecting them.
Ulan Bator (dpa) – According to animal welfare organization WWF, there are about 1000 snow leopards living in Mongolia. The first nationwide survey numbered 953 adult animals, which the WWF announced on Wednesday.
«Snow leopards have held their own in Mongolia. This is a major breakthrough for the protection of the species ”, said Markus Reddy, regional consultant at WWF Germany, on the results of more than two years of census. However, one should not rest on the results. “Recently gained knowledge about their distribution will help us plan protective measures even more effectively and in a more focused way in the future,” Rade said.
According to the WWF, the census between May 2018 and October 2020 sets new standards in scientific animal surveillance. Thousands of photographs from camera traps and terrain observations were evaluated and combined with computer aided modeling. Based on this data, the population was calculated for the entire distribution area.
Till now it is believed that the number of animals is between 500 and 1000. The new value at the upper end of this estimate gives “cause for optimism”, Radid said. In addition, the survey provided evidence that the area of the entire distribution area in Mongolia is nearly three times larger than before.
An estimated 4,000 to 6,900 animals live in the high mountains of Asia, the snow leopard being one of the world’s rarest big cats. In particular, hunting and hunting of animals is a problem for them. In search of food, snow leopards also kill livestock, which transport the shepherds into the mountains. This leads to greater conflict between animals and humans, often fatal to big cats.
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