Snow Leopard Populations Are Finally Making a Comeback

Here's to hoping they will never be endangered again


Frontal Portrait of Snow Leopard in Snow Storm

Snow leopards are now listed as "vulnerable" instead of "endangered". (Abeselom Zerit /

Snow leopards are majestic creatures that are as elusive as they are awe-inspiring. After decades of being on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the status of this incredible animal has been upgraded from endangered to vulnerable following a three-year study that found improvements in their population.

Snow leopards are extremely difficult to track as their natural habitat stretches over nearly two million square kilometres, involving 12 countries in central and northern Asia including the Himalayan ranges. Improved tracking techniques, such as camera traps and satellite imagery have helped conservations to follow the animal’s movements and patterns and led them to believe that there are now between 4,000 and 10,000 mature snow leopards in the wild.

Tougher anti-poaching laws implemented in Central Asia as well as the establishment of a greater number of protected wildlife zones have greatly contributed to the population growth.

While this reclassification is certainly good news for snow leopards, conservationists are still carefully keeping a close eye on the population. "Snow leopards are still very, very threatened with extinction, we cannot let up our conservation efforts," Dr Tom McCarthy, the snow leopard program executive director for Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organisation, told the BBC.

Scientists now hope that these positive developments will motivate more people and governments to continue funding and make sure that all the precious animals roaming our planet can have a save space to live.

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