Snow leopards are endangered because of many factors. They were hunted very heavily for their fur and bones. They are still poached today for that same reason. Their bones play an important part in Asian medicines. Also, much of their habitat has been destroyed because of deforestation and dam projects.
There have been a few different factors that have contributed largely to snow leopards becoming endangered. They face a large threat from poachers, who kill the cats illegally and sell them. Their pelts are sold to use for clothes, and some traditional medicines in Asia use snow leopard bones and other parts. Some are not killed, but are captured and sold to private buyers for their personal collections.
Second, snow leopard habitats border that of economically strapped herders, who rely soley on their livestock. When the animals get too close, the herders will often kill the leopards for their own economic protection. Third, prey loss is having a huge effect. Herders are pushing their sheep further into the leopard’s territory, decreasing space for them and for the wild sheep and goat they prey upon. This causes them to resort to the domestic herds more often, causing a circular conflict.
Unfortunately, snow leopards live in areas with very few resources to spend on the education and conservation of these creatures. With other pressing problems on the nations, there is little support from local areas to save them.
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