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Is the snow leopard really no longer endangered?

Snow Leopard Conservancy

The snow leopard, listed as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 1972, was reclassified as "vulnerable" earlier this month. So what does that mean for the survival of the species?

KALW's Ben Trefny spoke with Rodney Jackson, founder and director of the Snow Leopard Conservancy, based in Sonoma, California. They discussed Jackson's role on the  classification committee, the science behind counting numbers of an elusive animal, how conservation organizations disagree about what's best for the animal, and what people should think about the new listing.

"I spent 40 years working on this cat, and it's really only recently — I would say in the last two decades — that I had regular sightings of the cat. And all those sightings, without exception, have occurred in areas where the community has actively become involved in conservation of the species."

A longer version of this conversation can be found here: 


Ben handles daily operations in the news department, overseeing the editorial and sound engineering teams, delivering daily newscasts, producing the nightly news and culture show Crosscurrents, and supervising special projects including KALW's Audio Academy training program.