The Snow Leopard Network has asked the Mongolian government to cancel permission for hunting the highly endangered species, local media reported on Saturday.
The global network, in a letter, requested that the government help ensure the conservation of the snow leopard, adding that the international community was against any Mongolian license to hunt the animal.
The Mongolian government last week allowed foreign nationals to hunt four leopards for research purpose in 2011. The letter said the snow leopard is facing extinction, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature categorizes it as Endangered. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora also lists the snow leopard on its Schedule I, thus making illegal any international trade in the animal or its body parts, the letter said. There are many ways to conduct scientific research on the endangered species rather than by hunting, the letter said. Snow leopards live between 3,000 and 5,500 meters above sea level in the rocky mountain ranges of Central Asia. According to a survey conducted in 2009 and 2010, there are more than 1,200 leopards in Mongolia.