The elegant snow leopard is one of the world’s most elusive cats. It’s usually found in high, rugged mountain landscapes at elevations of 3,000-4,500 metres across 12 countries, including China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Mongolia. However, their numbers have tumbled by more than 20 per cent in the last 16 years, and is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN’s Red List (IUCN 2008) and under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). There are as few as 6,500 left in the wild, which is why urgent action is needed to save them.
Snow leopard numbers have declined by at least 20% in 16 years.