The snow leopard is no longer an endangered species, but its population in the wild is still at risk because of poaching and habitat loss, conservationists said this week.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature said on Thursday that new data taken through 2016 prompted the reclassification of the snow leopard from the endangered list to the vulnerable category.
The difference means, simply, that the animals have gone from "very high risk" to "high risk" of extinction in the wild.
The team's lowest estimate was that about 4,000 live in the wild.
But the snow leopard can still face a decline of 10% or more over the next three generations in its habitats, which are mostly mountainous areas of Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan.
It "still faces a high risk of extinction," the conservation group said, from habitat loss and degradation, declines in prey populations and poaching for illegal wildlife trade, among other reasons.