The number of snow leopards in China’s Sangjiangyuan area, the source of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang Rivers, has now exceeded 1,000, experts estimate.
According to Lyu Zhi, biology conservation professor of Peking University, more than 50,000 pictures of snow leopards have been captured by infrared cameras over an area of 5,000 square kilometers since scientists began monitoring the big cats in the Sanjiangyuan area 7 years ago.
After analyzing the number of snow leopards at each monitoring point, experts have preliminarily estimated the average population density of the snow leopards in this area.
“Only 3,000 to 7,000 snow leopards now live on earth,” said Dr. Xiao Lingyun from Peking University Center for Nature and Society.
The population density of snow leopards in the Sanjiangyuan area is now higher than average levels in other habitats, said Zhao Xiang, director of the Sanjiangyuan project at the Beijing Shanshui Con-servation Center.
Sanjiangyuan area, located in the south of Qinghai province, is also home to other rare species such as leopards, Tibetan antelope, Tibetan wild donkeys, and whitelipped deer.