Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by Loxodonta Cobra, 31 Aug 2017.
Snow leopards aren’t as rare as we thought – but aren’t safe yet
Snow leopard no longer 'endangered'
The IUCN has now classified snow leopards as vulnerable since their endangered listing of "endangered" in 1972
As the original link states, several prominent big cat experts oppose this reclassification.
Snow Leopards Confirmed in Mongolia’s Khorkh Mountains for the First Time - Snow Leopard Trust
Its important these cases are decided using the science and criteria laid out for classification. It seems the main opponents to reclassification are more worried about political issues than scientific ones. IMO its important that we can trust classifications as real not political to prioritise what will always be scarce resources.
Can someone expand on this please; who stands to gain from contesting re-classifications and are the IUCN red list classifications not universally accepted? I ask this because many species the IUCN list as Least Concern, might be considered threatened in the native countries - I think this is the case with some marsupials in Australia? Or am I totally missing the point?
I'm also interested in the answer to this, especially the part about native countries. I know that the IUCN sometimes differentiates between subspecies and subpopulations, but I think that the cases of certain large-range species can get really confusing, like gray wolves.
On contesting re-classifications: @Kiwi1 mentioned political considerations, so I guess a lot of organizations that are working to conserve snow leopards feel that a down-listing hurts their case to donors, governments, etc. It's harder to fund programs and pursue legislation dealing with a "vulnerable" species than an "endangered" one, although other factors are also at play. So there might be a concern that a down-listing is "premature" if the benefits of very recent policies and programs are just starting to be seen, which the advocates of the down-listed species think are too fragile to deal with a down-listing so soon in the species's recovery.
Yes that kind of covers my thoughts.
I have and to a lesser extent still dowork in conservation of wild species (it is just somewhat unusually for someone in this field I like zoos and consider them to have a role to play in conservation and public advocacy).
Doing this work I was often frustrated in how resources were often prioritised due to political or cute factor rather than actual need. Often even after a species was well on the way to recovery and IMO practically could have done with less resourcing this did not occur. Accurate definition of threat level is an important part of helping over looked species increase their chances of recognition.
Science isn't perfect but in a lot of these cases is the best we have. I trust it more than politics or lobby groups.
At least in India numbers are on the rise :
Rise in number of snow leopards in Himachal brings cheer to wildlife enthusiasts
Separate names with a comma.