Threats and Legal Protection
The Red Book of Kazakhstan, the source where rare and endangered species of animals and plants are listed. The provisions of the Red Book are regulated by the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Specially Protected Territories.” The seizure of rare and endangered species of animals, their parts or derivatives is allowed in exceptional cases by the decision of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan for breeding in special conditions for scientific, reproductive, and commercial purposes with the subsequent release to wild; development of national types of hunting; scientific research; selection. It is prohibited to perform such actions, which can lead to the death of rare and endangered species of animals, and to the reduction of the population or destruction of their habitat, except for the cases mentioned above. (Art. 32-1)
India has granted the highest level of protection to snow leopards under the Wildlife Protection Act. Hunting of snow leopards is punished by imprisonment of 3-7 years. Nepal also legally protects snow leopards and penalizes hunting with a penalty of 5-15 years of imprisonment for the violation of law and a fine for poaching and using these animals in trade. Recently, Nepal collared two snow leopards for further research of the declining species. China has been legally protecting snow leopards since 1989, and hunting and trading these animals or their body parts constitute a criminal offense that is punished by the confiscation of property, a fine, and a sentence of at least 10 years in prison. Other countries, such as Afghanistan and Bhutan, also has been providing protection to these animals for decades.
Internationally, the snow leopard is protected by being listed in Appendix I of CITES, which provides the highest protection in trade. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction, and trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances. The snow leopard has also been listed as threatened with extinction in Schedule I of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals since 1985.