Shen Q. The Effects of Climate Change on Snow Leopards at the Hengduan Mountain Region. InIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 2020 Aug

Abstract.

Snow leopard is one of the top predators and umbrella species of Hengduan Mountain (HM) region. Conserving snow leopard is vital in preserving this biodiversity hot spot. Climate change (CC) is imposing negative influences on snow leopard populations. This research combines and analyses recent research papers on this topic. It turns out that snow leopards are generally influenced by CC in three ways. Firstly, climate change enables forest to move to higher elevation to occupy grasslands, the main habitats of snow leopards. Therefore, snow leopard habitat shrinks and suffers greater fragmentation. Secondly, climate change makes grasslands more vulnerable to degradation, thus threatening preys of snow leopards. Thirdly, CC causes leopards to move to previous snow leopard habitats. As a result, there are risks of competition between snow leopards and leopards. This research appeals for more observation to better analyse snow leopard’s response to climate change.

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