Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the Snow Leopard Trust

Questions about snow leopards

Questions about supporting the Trust

Questions about my order

About the Snow Leopard Trust:

How does the Snow Leopard Trust protect snow leopards?
Founded in 1981, the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) is the world’s leading authority on the study and protection of the endangered snow leopard. The snow leopard’s range encompasses twelve mountainous Central Asian Countries. The Snow Leopard Trust currently has programs in China, India, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, and Pakistan. With programs and staff in five snow leopard range countries, and connections with researchers and conservation organizations around the world, the Snow Leopard Trust is a leader in the effort to secure the future of the snow leopard. More info: www.snowleopard.org/learn

In which countries does the Snow Leopard Trust work?
The Snow Leopard Trust works in 5 of the 12 countries where snow leopards are found. Collectively, these 5 countries contain over 75% of the world’s population of wild snow leopards. These countries are China, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan. More info: www.snowleopard.org/learn/program-countries

Is there a way I can make sure my donation is being used effectively?
At the Snow Leopard Trust we strive to use every dollar as effectively as possible.  We start by making sure that operations are as efficient as possible.  Over the past several years we spend less than 8% of our funds on fund raising.  But using funds wisely goes beyond just low fund raising expenditures.  The Trust also only hires local hires in range countries.  So we have Mongolian’s working with us in Mongolia, Pakistani’s in Pakistan, etc.  Our local staff have a better understanding of our partner communities, speak the languages, and don’t require expensive International air tickets to get to work.  This is one of the many reasons the Snow Leopard Trust can be most effective.  For more information you can also see our past annual reports and independent reviews of the Trust.  For more information or questions please feel free to contact us at info@snowleopard.org

Snow Leopard Trust Annual Reports – www.snowleopard.org/about/annual-reports-and-newsletters

Guidestar – www.guidestar.org

Charity Navigator – www.charitynavigator.org

How was the Snow Leopard Trust founded?
The Snow Leopard Trust was founded in 1981 by Helen Freeman. Helen was a volunteer docent at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo when the zoo acquired their first two snow leopards, Nicholas and Alexandra, all the way from the Soviet Union.

She quickly fell in love with the two cats, and later went on to become the Curator of Education at the Woodland Park Zoo. She was the first female chair of the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan. After helping zoos successfully manage snow leopards in captivity, Helen realized the cats were struggling to survive in the wild and founded the Snow Leopard Trust. She often traveled to Asia, Europe and throughout North America to raise awareness of the snow leopard’s endangered status. Helen passed away in 2007 but her dedication is still alive today in the programs and people of the Snow Leopard Trust who work diligently to protect these incredible cats from extinction.

What is the Snow Leopard Trust’s tax identification number?
The Snow Leopard Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Our Tax ID number is 91-1144119.

I am working on a media project and need to contact the Snow Leopard Trust for information. What is my first step?
Please send your inquiry to Matt Fiechter at matt@snowleopard.org

Can I use a photo I saw on your website?
That depends on the specific image you’d like to use and the purpose you’re intending to use it for. Many of the photos on our website were donated to us by our Artist Partners, but we don’t necessarily own the rights to all them. Please contact Matt Fiechter (matt@snowleopard.org) with a copy of the photo you’d like to use and a description of how you’re planning to use it.

About snow leopards:

Why are snow leopards endangered?
For decades, snow leopards have been facing a number of threats that have reduced their numbers significantly. Learn more at www.snowleopard.org/learn/cat-facts/threats-and-protections.

How many snow leopards are left in the wild?
According to the IUCN, the estimated population of these endangered big cats in the wild is between 4,000 and 6,500.

What are the countries where snow leopards live?
Snow leopard range extends across 12 countries in Central Asia. They are  Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. More at www.snowleopard.org/learn/cat-facts/habitat

How many snow leopards are in zoos?
Approximately 600 snow leopards are in accredited zoos world-wide.

Where can I see a snow leopard in the wild?
It is very difficult to see a snow leopard in the wild due to their shy and elusive nature and due to the remote and rugged terrain in which they live. Statistically, the best chances of seeing a snow leopard are in Hemis National Park, India in the months of February and March.

How many spots does a snow leopard have?
The number of spots is unique to each individual snow leopard.

How many years does a snow leopard live?
Snow leopards in zoos have lived as long as 21 years. In the wild, it is estimated that an average lifespan is 10-12 years.

Do snow leopards attack people?
There is no documented account of a snow leopard attacking a human.

I’m looking for scientific and research papers on snow leopards. Is there a resource for finding in-depth information?
The bibliography on the Snow Leopard Network is an excellent resource for scholarly articles on snow leopards and related issues. More info: www.snowleopardnetwork.org

About my support:

How do I make a donation?
We accept donations on our secure website at www.snowleopard.org/donate

Alternatively, donations can be mailed to us at:
Snow Leopard Trust
4649 Sunnyside Ave N ste 325
Seattle WA 98103
USA

What is a snow leopard adoption?
Every snow leopard adoption package includes a variety of interesting and fun things as well as helping protect the endangered snow leopard by funding the research and conservation efforts needed most. The adoption is only symbolic. Learn more here.

What is Team Snow Leopard and how can I join?
Team Snow Leopard is our team of dedicated supporters who sign up for automatic monthly donations to protect snow leopards. More details are at www.snowleopard.org/give/team-snow-leopard.

How do I update my credit card information used for my automatic monthly donations?
Please contact Arnica Luther at 206-632-2421 or arnica@snowleopard.org.

How do I inform you if I change my address?
Please email us at info@snowleopard.org or call our office at 206-632-2421.

How do I share my preferences for how I want to be contacted?
We are happy to contact you however you prefer. Please just email us at info@snowleopard.org and let us know what you like! To donors and contributors we generally send through the postal mail a paper newsletter 4 times per year, plus 2 fundraising requests (one in spring and one fall). We also send a monthly e-newsletter, and additional information about product sales or opportunities to get involved in conservation (generally averaging 3 per month). We are happy to send you just emails, just postal mail, just our newsletter (but no fundraising letters) – or nothing at all!

Will my information remain private?
The Trust will never share or sell any of your personal information under any circumstance. See our privacy policy at www.snowleopard.org/about/privacy-policy

I am an artist and/or represent a business, how can I help?
The Snow Leopard Trust has a wonderful group of artists and business partners who support our work through their work, either by donating artwork or by donating proceeds from sales. For more information, go to www.snowleopard.org/give/partners or email artists@snowleopard.org for the Artists Program, or info@snowleopard.org for Business Partners program.

How can I volunteer for the Snow Leopard Trust?
We are very grateful for the help we receive from our wonderful volunteers. Most of our volunteer needs are at our office in Seattle WA, but sometimes there are projects or events farther afield that a volunteer can become involved in. If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at volunteer@snowleopard.org. More information at www.snowleopard.org/give/volunteer

How can my child help support your cause?
Please read the ‘How Kids Can Help’ section on our website: www.snowleopard.org/give/volunteer

Does the Snow Leopard Trust offer graduate student research or volunteer positions in field research?
There are a very limited number of opportunities to participate in our field research.

Field Volunteers: If you would like to be considered for the following year’s field research, please send the following to info@snowleopard.org:

  • Your resume or CV (maximum 2 pages).
  • A short statement (maximum 250 words) describing your specific interests and goals pertaining to volunteering for a snow leopard-related research or conservation project.
  • Your availability – both total length of time (number of weeks or months) and time frame (what months of what year or years).

Graduate Students: There usually are a very limited number of opportunities for graduate students to participate in our field research. The students need to provide their own funding and have research questions or the focus of their thesis overlapping with our research. If you get to that point, please contact us at info@snowleopard.org to find out what information we would need from you to be considered.

How can I stay informed about the Snow Leopard Trust’s research and conservation efforts?
Check out our blog at www.snowleopard.org/interact/blog, sign up for our monthly eNews and visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, and Tumblr.

Can I support the Snow Leopard Trust through social media?
Social media provides us the opportunity to share our cause with more people than ever before. Simply by liking our pages and sharing our posts, you can help spread the word to people we may never have reached otherwise. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, and Tumblr to learn how you can use each site to promote snow leopard conservation. To learn more about our efforts and the latest updates to our social media sites, sign up for our enews!

About my order:

How does my purchase of Snow Leopard Enterprises products help snow leopards?
Your purchase helps sustain and grow our Snow Leopard Enterprises conservation program which empowers the women who participate in this program while their communities agree not to harm any snow leopards or the cats’ natural prey.

Why can’t I log-in to my account on the online store?
The online store will only recognize your email if you set up an account. To do this, please fill out the information under the heading “New Customer? Please Provide Your Billing Information” on the first of the check-out pages. This information includes your email address and creating a Log-in password.

If you did not go through these steps previously, the system will not recognize your email address. It is possible to make a purchase without creating an account too, which is the option at the top of the same page. Conversely, you will not be able to check out as a guest with an email address that is associated with a store account. If you have set up an account in the past, please log in using your email address.

How long will it take to process my order?
Retail orders are shipping within three business days. Wholesale orders ship within 7 days.

What shipping methods do you use?
US Postal Service and FedEx.

Does the Snow Leopard Trust sell to wholesalers?
Yes, please contact Gina Robertson at gina@snowleopard.org to apply for a wholesale account. Zoo gift stores please contact Marissa Niranjan at marissa@snowleopard.org.

I live outside the US, and I placed an order. How long will it take for my order to arrive?
If you are one of our many wonderful international customers, there are different factors which may affect how long your package takes to arrive at your door. We ship primarily through the United States Postal Service (USPS), and the default shipping method for international orders is USPS First Class International mail. If you have received free shipping on your order, this is the shipping service we will use. This is the most cost-effective method, but it is also subject to some of the longest shipping times. Although your country of residence will affect your shipping time (a parcel to Australia will take longer than a parcel to Canada, for example), as a rule we say that you can expect your order to arrive within six weeks.  Unfortunately, we cannot track First Class International mail once it has left the USA.

Why was I charged for shipping on my wholesale order?
Our wholesale prices are low enough that if we covered the cost of shipping we would likely not cover our cost for the merchandise. Therefore, we cannot offer free shipping as we can on retail orders over certain amounts.

Is my purchase tax-deductible?
No, purchases are not tax-deductible.

Why can’t I buy photo prints from your photo and video gallery?
The photos in our photo gallery are graciously provided by a vast group of people who all hold different forms of copyright on every picture. We are unable to sell these photos because we do not want to infringe on the rights of each photographer. If you follow the link provided with every image, you may be able to download the photo from Flickr.com if the photographer has specified that it is okay.

I see a lot of items are listed as backordered, when do you normally receive shipments?
We currently receive periodic shipments of the embroidered napkins from our communities in Pakistan, and two shipments a year from both Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan. Our largest shipment typically arrives in late June and the second shipment comes in November. If you see a certain product that you are interested in and we happen to be out of it, we are happy to place you on a waiting list. We will then notify you directly when we get more in stock. As our programs grow, we will be able to include more communities, thus getting more products to the consumer, and protecting more snow leopards at the same time. These handicrafts are becoming increasingly popular, so we encourage our customers to order early.

Do your products come with a tag/label so I know where the money is going?
All of our handmade products have a label which features a photo of a community member living where the product was created. It also includes a brief description of the Snow Leopard Trust’s mission, so people can know where their money is going. We also include a snow leopard postcard with every order which also give more information to our customers.

Do you ever get new products in?
We are currently working on putting together a design summit to develop new products to add to our product line. We welcome any product ideas that you may have. This program is successful, because of your support, and we truly welcome all feedback and suggestions.

Are your products fair trade?
All of our handicrafts are made from natural fibers, and are fairly traded. All of our logo products (tote bags, caps, shirts, bibs, etc.) are made out of organic cotton and are sourced from socially conscious companies.