Shafqat Hussain, an environmental anthropologist, has dedicated the last 20 years of his career to protecting Pakistan's infamous snow leopards. Snow leopards reside high up in the mountains in freezing temperatures and are incredibly difficult to spot in the wild. The secretive creatures have a small population remaining and are at risk of being hunted by farmers who don’t want the leopards to prey on their livestock. Snow leopards are a keystone predator and play an important role in the ecosystem, making them a vital species to protect. Hussain uses camera traps and genetic testing to track Pakistan’s 250 snow leopards and works with communities to find ways for the populations to coexist. After 20 years of studying and advocating for the animals, Hussain has yet to see one in the wild.
Image via Mashable Pakistan
Read other stories from the 4/4/22 newsletter: