Cashmere Fashions Squeezing Central Asia's Big Mammals
Growing demand for cashmere affects mammals, like snow leopards, a world away.
A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Snow Leopard Trust suggests that the booming trade in cashmere is causing Central Asia's goat herders to expand their stock in search of increased profits.
This creates a welcome economic boost, but an array of rare or endangered species like snow leopards, Bactrian camels, and Tibetan antelope are paying the price. Wild habitat is shrinking dramatically, and the animals are increasingly coming into conflict with humans and their livestock. (Related: "Snow Leopards Need To Be Protected ... But How?")
Ninety percent of the world's cashmere comes from the goat herds roaming the open spaces of China and Mongolia. And those herds are growing to meet demand. According to