After the The BBC America documented series, Planet Earth II, recently aired in the United States a few weeks ago, it has been the first ever to document more than one snow leopard in their natural habitat at one time. As they reside in extremely cold mountainous terrains, snow leopards are notoriously next-to-impossible to capture on film.
This species of cat is estimated to only have around 3,500 left on our planet, which makes capturing them on camera that much more incredible. Only after consulting with locals in Ladakh (where the footage was captured) who were experts in tracking snow leopards was the crew able to finally catch some footage. On top of that, the crew had to spend 16 weeks in the India location, where they hiked the Himalayas to place cameras that were left there for four months at a time and up to 16,400 feet in elevation.
With the show’s new technology such as its high-tech “camera traps,” the crew was able to leave the devices in place for longer periods of time and operate them more remotely. With this historic footage comes awareness about the endangered species. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, snow leopards have been endangered since 2003.
The World Wildlife Fund’s UK Snow Leopard program, lead by Rebecca May, gives us some insight on the snow leopard’s declining population. “Living in an incredibly harsh landscape these hardy cats are threatened by poaching, human wildlife conflict and loss of living space.” While the program is thrilled to see footage like this, they hope it helps spread the word about the species’ threats.
Planet Earth II is known around the world for it’s amazing documentaries and incredible footage of animals. The series is driven by its passion to educate the world on animals and endangered species in hopes to raise awareness.
The new series talks about global warming and the effects it has on our planet and the ecosystems that inhabit it. With many new regulations surrounding the EPA and other Administrative restrictions regarding access to global warming information, the documentary is a great way to keep the conversation alive and keep awareness around this very real threat to animals such as the snow leopard.
Take a look at the Planet Earth II video here: