The endangered snow leopard has been spotted, for the first time in Uzbekistan.
Better, a camera trap snapped not one but two elusive cats roaming the wild in Gissar Nature Reserve — a protected part of the Pamir Mountains, showed images released by conservation groups Panthera and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). In Uzbekistan, the cats had previously been confirmed only through traditional surveys and rare sightings, said a report on livescience.com.
It’s estimated that only 3,500 to 7,000 of the endangered cats are left across the world.
Panthera’s Snow Leopard Program Executive Director, Dr. Tom McCarthy, stated, “It is very exciting to document snow leopards within the Gissar Nature Reserve in Uzbekistan using camera trap technology. Panthera has provided over 300 camera traps through partnerships such as this to better document the range of this elusive and endangered cat of central Asia’s mountains. With an improved understanding of their range and numbers we have a better chance to save them.”
Situated on the western edge of the Pamir mountain range, the Gissar Nature Reserve serves as the largest protected area in Uzbeksitan, strictly guarded by border patrols and reserve rangers, with visitors allowed only for scientific research. The reserve protects several species of rare and endangered animals, including the snow leopard, lynx, Himalayan brown bear and otter, which are listed in the Red Book of Uzbekistan and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.