Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (9): 932-942.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019026

• Special Feature: Snow Leopards: Survey, Research and Conservation Status in China • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Ongoing threats and the current status of snow leopard conservation in China

Xiaoyu Li1,#,Lingyun Xiao1,#,Xuchang Liang2,Chen Cheng1,Chen Feng3,Xiang Zhao3,Yanlin Liu4,Xiaoxing Bian2,Bing He5,Changzhi Zhang5,Justine Shanti Alexander6,Rui Xing7,Yahui Huang7,Awangjiumei 8,Xierannima 9,Dazhao Song4,Qiaowen Huang4, 10,Kui Peng11,Hang Yin12,Xinming Lian13,Xin Yang14,Sheng Li1,Xiaogang Shi15,Chuangming Yang16,Zhi Lü1,*()   

  1. 1 College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    2 Wildlife Conservation Society, Beijing 100101
    3 Shan Shui Conservation Center, Beijing 100871
    4 Chinese Felid Conversation Alliance, Beijing 101121
    5 World Wide Fund for Nature, Beijing 100037
    6 Snow Leopard Trust, Seattle WA 98103, USA
    7 Wild Xinjiang, Urumqi 830000
    8 Plateau Nature Conservancy, Xining 810012
    9 People’s Government of Suojia Township, Zhiduo County, Yushu, Qinghai 815400
    10 Nyanpo Yutse Conservation Association, Golog, Qinghai 624700
    11 Global Environmental Institute, Beijing 100600
    12 Gangri Neichog Research and Conservation Center, Xining 810007
    13 Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008
    14 Greenriver Environmental Protection Association of Sichuan Province, Chengdu 610041
    15 Wolong National Nature Reserve, Wenchuan, Sichuan 623006
    16 Gongga Mountain National Nature Reserve, Garzê, Sichuan 626000
  • Received:2019-01-31 Accepted:2019-08-31 Online:2019-09-20 Published:2019-09-25
  • Contact: Xiaoyu Li,Lingyun Xiao,Zhi Lü


When working with widespread large carnivores, most conservation organizations can only perform direct conservation actions for a specific population, but the extinction risk of a species is evaluated at a global scale. Here, we aim to bridge this impact gap by assessing the work and opinions from many organizations. We combines knowledge from scientific literature with the observations of 24 front-line staff working at 18 Chinese snow leopard research and conservation organizations. Through attending two group-meetings and by filling in threat-scoring spreadsheets, we identified 21 threats and ranked them at both the national and provincial levels. The five main snow leopard distribution provinces are Qinghai, Tibet, Xinjiang, Sichuan and Gansu. Also, we analyzed 17 conservation actions conducted by these conservation organizations, as well as the threats these actions attempted to address. The top three threats in China are the insufficient capacity of local conservation departments (9.5 points), climate change (8.0 points), and the lack of conservation incentive among local communities (6.8 points), although large differences exist between provinces. There is currently no action being taken in response to climate change. Although some conservation actions have addressed the insufficient capacity of local conservation departments and the lack of conservation awareness in local communities, such as by building up the capacity of conservation areas and monitoring by communities, respectively, the spatial coverage of these actions is still far from sufficient.

Key words: snow leopard, China, threat assessment, expert opinion, conservation actions