Buddhism, The Savior To Saving Snow Leopards?

–  Polly Curtin

Certain regions upon this earth are so cruel that any species which survives in such areas gains a profound status. To even exist in such areas is an accomplishment, but when a species thrives, such a creature gains an almost legendary status. One such species inhabits the world’s greatest and highest mountain range: the Himalayas. Himalaya is a Sanskrit word, which means the “Abode of Snow” and it is here upon the unforgiving peaks where this species hunts, and for over a millennia has thrived. However, in modern times it bears no surprise that this species, among many others, is now classified as endangered. It isn’t difficult to see why one of the world’s most elusive and secretive creatures is classified as endangered. It ultimately stems from one root cause; the activity and existence of humans. As secretive as they are, snow leopards are still being ruthlessly persecuted by us, according to a report recently released. This is awful news for a species which is already down to a population of around 4,000 in Central Asia.


But there is hope. Areas such as Kyrgyzstan, which is possibly home to 350 snow leopards, is becoming a model for conservation efforts. Furthermore, one group of people have been prominent in ensuring the future of the snow leopard: Tibetan Buddhists. The belief in Tibetan Buddhism is widespread across snow leopard territory. The basic tenets of Buddhism are love, respect and compassion for all beings. Such beliefs are shared among those who wish to preserve and protect biodiversity and adherence to them helps to stop the poaching of the snow leopard.

–  Polly Curtin

Please click here for the full report which was written by Kristin Nowell, Juan Li, Mikhail Paltsyn and Rishi Kumar Sharma. ‘An Ounce of Preservation: A Snow Leopard Crime Revisited.’

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