Snow leopards share their range with pastoral communities who also require healthy rangelands to sustain their livestock and livelihoods. Moreover, these high altitude mountains and plateaus provide invaluable ecosystem services through carbon storage in peat lands and grasslands, and serve as Asia’s ‘water towers’, providing fresh water for hundreds of millions of people living downstream in Central, East and South Asia. But the pace of rural development has increased, opening up previously remote parts of snow leopard range; livestock grazing has expanded and intensified, and new factors have emerged that may threaten the future of snow leopards and their habitat, notably increased resource exploitation and climate change – all of which have created new challenges for snow leopard conservation.
Snow Leopard Network (2014). Snow Leopard Survival Strategy. Revised 2014 Version Snow Leopard Network, Seattle, Washington, USA.