More than 1,000 snow leopards estimated to live in Sanjiangyuan area

"After monitoring the snow leopards in the Sanjiangyuan area for many years,  it is estimated that there are over 1,000 snow leopards living in the area, which is the world’s highest distribution of snow leopards in a concentrated area," said a researcher from a natural conservation center.

Zhao Xiang, head of the Sanjiangyuan program of Shanshui Conservation Center, a non-government organization in China, said, “snow leopards in the Sanjiangyuan area right now are mainly distributed in the areas with bare rock and minimal human interference.”

He said the core habitat for snow leopards here is concentrated around the Zadoi County, Nangchen County, and Yushu City in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the sources of the Lancang River and Yangtze River, and Sokya Township in Zhidoi County as well as in the Mt. Anye Machen and Mt. NyanpoYutse Mountain in Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Qinghai province.

The snow leopard is known as the “high altitude ecosystem health barometer”, and in 1996 was classified as an endangered species by the China Red Data Book of Endangered Animals.

China currently has the world’s largest distribution of snow leopards,with 60 percent of its habitat located in China.