Snow Leopards Doing Quite Well in Afghanistan, Thank You Very Much

More on PawNation: afghanistan, endangered species, snow leopard, wakhan, wakhan corridor, world conservation society, world wildlife fund

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Snow leopards are considered one of the most endangered species on the planet, with only 4,000–6,500 cats left in the wild. While their numbers have been dwindling steadily over the years, there is new hope, as a robust population of the big cats have been discovered in the mountains of Afghanistan, according to the UK Daily Telegraph.

The snow leopards were photographed by camera traps located at 16 different locations throughout Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor, a mountainous area that traverses the border between Tadjikistan and Pakistan, connecting Afghanistan to China. The World Conservation Society has proposed making Wakhan into a national park due to the wildlife that call it home.

"This is a wonderful discovery," Peter Zahler, deputy director of Asia programmes for the WCS told the Telegraph. "Now our goal is to ensure that these magnificent animals have a secure future as a key part of Afghanistan's natural heritage."

It's not a total surprise that snow leopards were found in this area; it was known that Wakhan was one of their Afghan homes. Researchers were taken about to find such a healthy populations, however. There was a fear that war and poaching would have taken their toll on the snow leopards. Said John Barker, species programme manager at the World Wildlife Fund UK, "It's really good news to know that the population is in a better state than people were worried."

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