Snow Leopard Survival Chances Melting Away Along With Glaciers
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Snow Leopard Survival Chances Melting Away Along With Glaciers

Bişkek : Kyrgyzstan | Nov 18, 2010 at 3:34 PM PST
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The Snow Leopard

The 8,400 square kilometers of Kyrgyzstan’s glaciers, which account four per cent of the country’s territory, are now receding at a rate more than three times as fast as in the 1950s, the Institute of Hydro Energy at the National Academy of Sciences in Bishkek stated.

The melting, fuelled by global warming, threatens water supplies as all the main water resources are connected with glaciers. If the trend continues, the effects on wildlife could be as devastating.

In countries that depend on snowmelt for drinking water or agricultural, they also need the snow to come at the right time. The same applies to most wildlife.

Survival of some among world’s rarest animals that found their home in Kyrgyzstan, such as the Marco Polo sheep, the Himalayan brown bear and the endangered snow leopard, are closely linked to the melting glaciers, scientists said.

"These glaciers are part of often unique mountain ecosystems. In some places one can go from a dry desert to lush green pastures in the space of two hours' drive. Glaciers are driving much of that," Dr Stephan Harrison, associate professor of quaternary science at the University of Exeter in the UK, was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera.

The number of the endangered species facing extinction is ever increasing. And the list of those whose survival is directly threatened by global warming is not limited to polar bear and other animals that live in the coldest world’s regions. Indeed, the scientists said the Koala Bear, the Leatherback Turtle, Flamingos and many others are affected as well.

Few days ago a flock of African pink pelicans have mistakenly ended up in Siberia. Flying back to Africa from Kazakhstan, the birds, confused by the exceptionally warm weather, chose to go north instead of south. They were treating the recent changes the same way as the majority of nations in Kyoto - ignoring them.

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Shearwater's "The Snow Leopard" set to video of actual snow leopards as documented by the television show Planet Earth.
Ljubica Vujadinovic is based in Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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