IF you have soft, comfy sweaters or scarves at home, you may have heard of the word ‘cashmere’. It is a kind of wool taken from goats to make fine winter clothing. As the wool is getting more popular around the world, it is causing a threat to some endangered animals, a biology report says. Why?
To sell more cashmere, people are herding a large number of goats in the wild. In central Asia alone, the number of goats has almost tripled in the last 20 years! The goats ‘invade’ the natural habits of wild animals, such as snow leopards. So they have less space to live, and less food to eat. Without enough food in their natural habitat, hungry leopards turn to the goats for food instead. Herders then kill the snow leopards to protect their goats.
Dr Charudutt Mishra, one of the co-authors of the report, suggests cashmere clothes carry ‘green labelling’ to raise people’s awareness about the issue.