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Climate change is now the greatest threat to ultra-rare snow leopards

A snow leopard at the Stone Zoo, plays with one of her three-month-old cubs.
A snow leopard at the Stone Zoo, plays with one of her three-month-old cubs. Copyright AP Photo/Elise Amendola
Copyright AP Photo/Elise Amendola
By Doloresz Katanich with AP & EBU
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UNEP have launched a new monitoring programme to save endangered snow leopards in Kyrgyzstan.

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Snow leopards living in the Central Asian mountains are now facing their greatest threat. Climate change is pushing the animals towards local towns and communities, as habitat loss means they are forced to find new food sources.

But the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is leading a project called Vanishing Treasures to help safeguard the species.

“If snow leopards could roar, we would hear them cry out for our help,” says UNEP Europe Office Director Bruno Pozzi. “Climate change is hitting Central Asian mountains. Conflicts between snow leopards and local communities and livestock are likely to become more frequent.”

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