The White Lion Foundation (TWLF) is sharing “exceptionally rare footage” of a male snow leopard’s mating call – and you’ll have to hear this one to believe it.
When it comes to big cats, few organizations have the pedigree of The White Lion Foundation. In their own words, the conservation institution “is a UK wildlife charity (TWLF) with an ambitious vision for the future of global wildlife conservation, [with] world-class high-impact projects for the protection and welfare of wild animals.”
As such, “TWLF is dedicated [to] the engagement of communities through progressive education and awareness campaigns.”
No small task, right? One of the ways they engage the public is through heightening awareness of endangered species, like these incredibly rare leopards.
One of the world’s most endangered big cats, the snow leopard population has been all but wiped out. This is a result of both poaching and illegal trade. “There are an estimated 4,000 to 7,500 left in the wild,” TWLF states. Over the last decade, an average of one a day has fallen victim to the above.
Moreover, herders who live within the snow leopard’s ecosystem are “killing off snow leopards in retaliation for attacks on [local] livestock.”
In order to help preserve what remains of their population, organizations like TWLF aim to heighten public awareness of species’ plight through glimpses into the animals themselves.
Today, that’s the unbelievably rare sound of a snow leopard male and his mating call.
‘Extremely Unusual’ to Hear ‘Snow Leopard Vocalizing in the Wild’
TWLF’s footage comes courtesy of their “remote specialist field cameras” in the Karakoram Mountains of Northern Pakistan.
“The stunning video footage [is courtesy of] remote specialist field cameras, set up along the natural trails of the snow leopards habitat in the Khaplu Valley of Baltistan, the Himalaya’s,” the conservationists state in their press release. “The high definition cameras are being used for important scientific research… To track and monitor the wild snow leopard population in the region.”
Furthermore, “It is extremely unusual and special to be able to get such clear footage of a snow leopard vocalizing in the wild, as they are by nature elusive and solitary, only coming together to mate and raise young,” says the organization’s Dr. John Knight.
According to Knight, the adult male is exercising his vocal calls to “let females know he is in the area,” hence the uniqueness of his mating call.
Combatting Enemies of Big Cats
In addition to promoting awareness, “TWLF is also building leopard-proof corrals to keep rural communities’ herds and flocks safe at night from leopard attacks”. As such, they play large part in the survival of snow leopards in their natural habitat. Through these efforts, alongside combatting poaching, TWLF hopes these incredible big cats will be around for generations to come.
“In these challenging times… It lifts our collective spirits to see such unique and wonderful footage of the forever-beautiful snow leopard,” adds TWLF’s Director Shirley Galligan. “Our charity is working very hard to make sure these exquisite creatures are able to continue living in freedom… In the Karakoram mountains for many generations to come.”
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[Source: The White Lion Foundation]