Snow Leopard Survival Threatened by Cashmere Industry
As London Fashion Week concludes, Dr Charudutt Mishra explains how demand for cashmere is affecting Central Asian wildlife, and how enlisting the support of local people will be essential for the future of snow leopard conservation.
The mountains of Central Asia are where the endangered snow leopards live. The higher Himalayas, the Pamirs, the Tien Shan, the Altai, all remote and faraway, seemingly insulated from our consumerist lifestyles. Indeed, the main causes of the cat’s endangerment appear to arise largely from local activities – persecution in retaliation against predation on livestock, for instance. Understandable, as livestock continues to remain a precious resource for people in these climatically and topographically harsh mountain landscapes.
Living thousands of miles away, it is difficult to imagine that our daily choices, literally the clothes we choose to wear, are shaping the chances of survival – or extinction – of the snow leopard and several other species of the Central Asian mountains.
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