Fashion victims, literally speaking

Iconic species losing ground to cashmere goats

Wildlife species living in the highest places in the world are in jeopardy, thanks to the steady reduction of the grasses necessary to support them and, by extension, their predators, new research shows.

Wild yaks, snow leopards (pictured) and other iconic high-altitude-dwelling animals “are becoming ‘fashion victims’ of the surging global trade in cashmere,” according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

The goats that produce the soft, in-demand wool are devouring mountain and steppe vegetation to the detriment of other species that have long depended on such food being in reasonable abundance.

“In the absence of commitment across global and local scales, this iconic wildlife will cease to persist as they have for millennia,” researchers were quoted as saying in the journal Conservation Biology.