Urgent international action must be taken in the face of climate change to save the snow leopard and conserve its fragile mountain habitats that provide water to hundreds of millions of people across Asia.
It is not just snow leopards that are at risk, since their high-altitude habitat spans many of Asia’s major watersheds. Over 330 million people rely on rivers originating in snow leopard territory and directly depend on them for their daily water supplies. Climate change could drastically alter the flow of water down from the mountains, threatening the livelihoods of vast numbers of people across the continent.
“Urgent action is needed to curb climate change and prevent further degradation of snow leopard habitat, otherwise the ‘ghost of the mountains’ could vanish, along with critical water supplies for hundreds of millions of people,” said Rishi Kumar Sharma, WWF Global Snow Leopard Leader, who is coordinating WWF’s first ever global strategy to conserve the iconic species.