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"Why Should We Care?"
Transcript of "Why Should We Care?"
By Catie Worsham
The Snow Lepord
Facts About the Snow Leopard
Snow Leopards have evolved to live in some of the harshest conditions on Earth. Their white- gray coat spotted with large black rosettes, blends in perfectly with the steep and rocky mountains of Central Asia. With its powerful hind legs the Snow Leopard can leap up to six times the length of its body. They prey on sheep, ibex, marmots, pikas, and hares, and can be found in 12 different countries. These cats used to be king of the mountains, but their population is slowly dropping.
Snow Leopards Habitat
Snow Leopards live in the high, rugged mountains of central Asia. Specifically they like the broken terrain of cliffs, rocky outcrops, and ravines. This type of habitat provides good cover and clear views to help them find and sneak up on their prey.
There are two main reasons why the Snow Leopard is endangered.
Why Are They Endangered?
1.) Retaliatory Killings and Poaching
Snow Leopards often killed by local farmers, because they prey on livestock such as sheep, goats, horses, and yak calves. They animals which the Snow Leopard would typically hunt are also hunted by local communities. As their natural prey becomes harder to find, Snow Leopards are forced to kill livestock for survival. Also in many area of Central Asia, the Leopard is threatened by their own rarity and for sport. This greatly destroys an already declining population.
2.) Habitat Fragmentation
The Snow Leopards habitat range continues to decline from human settlement and increased use of grazing space.
Saving the Snow Leopard
In the Eastern Himalayas wildlife conservation groups are working with local communities to monitor Snow Leopards and reduce the retaliatory killing of them through innovative local insurance plans. These groups also work with goat herders, in Mongolia and throughout Central Asia, to build awareness to the problems of the Snow Leopards. Along with all of this, various groups are working to secure key areas of Snow Leopard habitat for the Snow Leopards.
Why Save the Snow Leopard?
As the top predator in the high mountains of Central Asia, the Snow Leopard plays an important ecological role in controlling the populations and health of the wild species it preys on. Protecting the Snow leopard, its prey species, and its habitat is critical to protecting the broader eco regions as well, such as the high altitude grasslands and wetlands of the Yangtze Source Region.
Yes, with all of that being said, it is safe to say that the Snow Leopard is a keystone species of the mountain ecosystems of Central Asia.
Laws to Protect the Snow Leopard
The cats are protected by laws in nearly all 12 countries, but it is almost impossible to enforce the laws in the Snow Leopard's remote mountain habitat. The Laws are listed in the Appendix 1(Most Endangered) of the United Nations Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, which bans trade of animals or their body parts.
How Can You Help?
There are many ways that we as students can help out the Snow Leopard.
Adopt a Wild Animal
A symbolic adoption helps save real animals in the wild.
Find organizations on line that will help you send letters to the government.
Speak Up for Wildlife
Learn how you can be a powerful advocate for wildlife.
Make sure you are looking up dates and information online to stay informed about things that are happening with what you are interested in.
Endangered Species in Georgia
Georgia provides habitat for 62 species for plants and animals protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. The state of Georgia has its own lists of plants and animals that are considered to be threatened or endangered. Among these are the Gray Bat, the Humpback Whale, the Green Sea Turtle, and the Pool Sprite.