The species has been placed into a less urgent category, “vulnerable” by The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because the risk from a reduction in number because of the prey and its fur and bones is still present
After three years of assessment by five international experts, the change was possible. For a species to be categorized as endangered, it needs to have less than 2,500 mature adults. Today some experts believe the appropriate number should be around 4,000, but some others estimate that it should be 10,000.
This inconsistency in numbers in the past has been a great inconvenience while tracking the Snow Leopards across their vast habitat in the Himalayas. Besides, the scientific community was able to survey just a small fraction of those animals in the high- mountain area. The range covers almost 1.8 million square kilometers across 12 countries in Asia.
The research might be difficult because “It involves an enormous amount of work in some of the most remote and inhospitable regions of the world,” Peter Zahler explained. He is the coordinator of the Snow Leopard programme at the Wildlife Conservation Society, who was involved in the multi-agency team’s assessment as well.
Thanks to the new technologies such as camera traps and satellite collaring, it is possible to get ” better information about where snow leopards are and how far they range,” Peter said.
It is possible to identify some positive aspects which include an increase in the amount of the areas that are protected and an improvement in the efforts that each local communities do in order to protect the animals from poachers.
According to the team member, Rodney Jackson of the Snow Leopard Conservancy group said in a statement; these communities also built predator-proof livestock corrals to prevent cases of local herdsmen retaliating for the lost livestock.
Plus Mr. Zahler argued that people should not stop paying attention to these animals future even though this new category might be seen as good news for them. He added that “Saying Snow Leopards are now ‘vulnerable’ rather than ‘endangered’ doesn’t mean they’re safe.
He claims that it may not be farfetched to think that predators do not disappear from the place and this is something that happens many times all around the world. So why is it going to stop now?
There exists a possibility that Snow Leopards could be re-categorized in the future, for now, we should observe the changes and hope for the best.