The Global Snow Leopard Summit is taking place right now in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. This is a forum in which representatives from all twelve snow leopard range countries are discussing the fate of this enigmatic cat. In July, the Snow Leopard Trust and other conservation NGOs launched a petition that was designed to urge these leaders to intensify their efforts to save snow leopards (Panthera uncia). Your voices have been heard.
The Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) has just published an update about the Global Snow Leopard Summit. Over 200,000 people from 50 countries signed the petition to #SaveSnowLeopards, and it has been delivered to the leaders at the forum. According to an email notification from the SLT, these world leaders have vowed to work harder to protect the endangered snow leopard.
Topics that have been discussed at the Summit include the greatest threats to snow leopards (e.g. poaching, climate change, and livestock-related conflicts) and the need for more information about the species. There is still a great deal that is unknown about snow leopards, due to their elusive nature and rugged habitats. It is especially urgent to generate a better understanding of the species’ global status, since scientists still do not know how many snow leopards are left in the wild.
Despite these grim topics, the SLT reports that the Summit is going well. They have described it as a “successful, hopeful, and cheerful event,” which is encouraging. It appears as though the leaders who attended are firmly committed to conserving snow leopards for future generations – as evidenced by their endorsement of the 2017 Bishkek Declaration for Snow Leopards. This document serves as a formal commitment to engage in agreed-upon activities that will benefit snow leopards and local communities, since effective conservation depends on their support.