Snow leopards are no longer an endangered species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has downgraded conservation status of snow leopard from “endangered” to “vulnerable”. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an environmental organization that keeps track of the conservation status of plants and animals. The decision was based on a new assessment that determined that snow leopard populations are still declining, but not as fast as previous.
Snow leopards are big cat predators from Asia. They live in cold high mountains in 12 countries in Central and South Asia- including Himalayas, and Russia’s remote Altai mountains. It inhabits in alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500m. In the northern range countries, it is also found at lower elevations. Since 1972, the animals have been listed as “endangered” in the IUCN’s Red List, an internationally recognized standard for assessing extinction risk. To be considered endangered, species have to have global populations of fewer than 2,500 mature adults, and have a decline rate of 20 percent over 16 years. The new assessment by several conservation organizations found that the snow leopard doesn’t meet the two key criteria.