Snow leopards live in the mountains of Central Asia, their range stretching from Afghanistan to Lake Baikal and eastern Tibet. They are endangered throughout their range, being hunted as predators of man's livestock and for their skin. Much of the snow leopard's range lies in China, but not enough is known about its status there for effective conservation. As part of a project to assess China's high-altitude wildlife resources the authors conducted a survey in Xinjiang—a vast arid region of deserts and mountains. Although the snow leopard and other wildlife have declined steeply in Xinjiang in recent decades, the cat still persists and one area has the potential to become one of the best refuges for the species in its entire range. Its future in Xinjiang, however, depends on well-protected reserves, enforcement of regulations against killing the animal, and proper management of the prey species.