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Editorial

Monks, rangers and big cats

The planet’s most elusive big cat, the snow leopard, is a highly endangered species. Once found in abundance in the rugged, high mountains of Central- and South Asia, its numbers are dwindling. This week on Global Ideas we focus on what's being done to protect the magnificent beast. In his television report, Joachim Eggers describes how Germany’s Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) is working in Kyrgyzstan to help save the animals. In our background article, Sonia Phalnikar writes about the role played by local Buddhist monasteries and indigenous practices in the snow leopard’s conservation.

Next week on Global Ideas

Peru's conservation challenges

The Manú National Park, a richly biodiverse region, stretches from the eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes to the lush lowlands. Around 500,000 species are found here. They include the giant otter, the caiman and rare birds as well as over 5,000 plant species. But, ever since the Park was set up 40 years ago, illegal woodcutters and gold prospectors have been exploiting the region for valuable resources, endangering the biodiversity. In addition, the local population is growing, adding further pressure on the area. The Zoological Society of Frankfurt (ZGF) is working to find ways for a better balance between humans and nature. But it’s not easy because some communities live in complete isolation and shirk contact with the outside world. That presents new challenges in conserving the region.