Has the scary threat of extinction worn off at last for the long-endangered Snow Leopard?
Not exactly – but the iconic big cats’ conservation status has been amended from “endangered” to “vulnerable”.
The decision was declared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – the global standard for assessing extinction risk.
Experts have warned that the species still faces grave threats from poaching and habitat destruction.
The elegant yet elusive creatures, which live in the mountains of central Asia, were first listed as endangered by the IUCN in 1972.
The status change followed a three-year assessment process by five international specialists.