Snow Leopards Get Upgraded

September 14, 2017

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Snow leopards have been upgraded from “endangered” to “vulnerable.” Still, scientists are urging caution. While efforts to protect these elusive big cats are helping, snow leopards still face serious dangers, including poaching for their thick fur and the overhunting of their wild prey.

"It is important that a change in status is not misinterpreted," Peter Zahler, Coordinator of the WCS Snow Leopard Program said in a statement, "this change does not mean that the snow leopard has been ‘saved’ and efforts on its behalf can stop."

The change in status came after a three-year assessment process by five international experts, including scientists from academia and from Panthera, Snow Leopard Conservancy, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, organizations that are active in snow leopard conservation.

We need your help

Your tax-deductible gift supports cutting-edge exhibits, first-class animal care, and in-depth research to help threatened wildlife survive and thrive.

Sign Up for Email Updates

Get news from the field and learn about ways you can help Earth’s most threatened species.