5-speed listening (Level 5)

Snow leopard under threat from climate change






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The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that climate change is threatening the snow leopard in the Himalayas. It says rising temperatures are reducing the natural habitat of the big cat to the point where snow leopards could become extinct. The charity says that up to a third of the areas where the leopards live could become uninhabitable. The natural environment the animals need to survive is disappearing. The WWF said: "The Himalayas region will face a major crisis if we choose to ignore climate change…We risk losing…species such as the snow leopard."

It isn't just climate change that is a threat to the snow leopard. Human activity is also adding to the dangers the animals face. Snow leopards are hunted for their fur and body parts. More poachers are joining this lucrative, illegal trade. Farmers are also killing the leopards to protect their livestock. The natural prey of the snow leopards is decreasing, so the animals are going into areas inhabited by humans and killing farm animals. The result is the farmers shoot the leopards. The WWF released its report on Friday, which was the first ever International Snow Leopard Day.

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