The most important facts about snow leopards and the Snow Leopard Trust – for journalists, bloggers and everyone else!
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Fast Facts: the Snow Leopard
- Known throughout the world for its beautiful fur and elusive behavior, the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is found in the rugged mountains of Central Asia, in 12 countries.
- Snow leopards are perfectly adapted to the cold, barren landscape of their high-altitude home, but human threats (poaching, retaliation killings, habitat loss) have created an uncertain future for the cats.
- Despite a range of over 2 million km2, there are only between 4,000 and 6,500 snow leopards left in the wild.
- The cat is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List
- Poaching for fur and bones
- Retaliation killings by local pastoral communities
- Loss of habitat and prey
The Snow Leopard Trust is committed to protecting the endangered snow leopard and its mountain ecosystem.
Our conservation approach / philosophy is to:
- understand the snow leopard’s needs, monitor its current status and identify current and future threats through research
- address threats in partnership with local communities
- raise the profile of the snow leopard and awareness for its plight and its value through education
- partner with governmental and non-governmental actors to protect key snow leopard habitats
- Since 2008, the Snow Leopard Trust has been conducting the world’s first long-term study of the ecology, behavior and needs of the snow leopard and its key prey species. This study, based in South Gobi, Mongolia, has yielded several groundbreaking insights into this elusive cat’s secrets. Learn more about the pioneering long-term snow leopard study.
- Snow Leopard Enterprises helps women in snow leopard habitat to produce handicrafts from the wool of their livestock. The Snow Leopard Trust purchases these products and markets them internationally. The proceeds provide a significant boost to the income of participating families, increasing their ability to coexist with the snow leopard and absorb livestock losses through predation. In return, participants agree to protect the snow leopards and prey species in their area. Get to know the award-winning conservation program Snow Leopard Enterprises.
- The Snow Leopard Trust financially and logistically assists communities in snow leopard habitat in installing livestock insurance funds. Herders pay small premiums and get compensated when they lose livestock to snow leopard predation – increasing their tolerance toward the predator. Get details on the snow leopard-friendly livestock insurance program.
- Through livestock vaccination programs, the Snow Leopard Trust helps local communities lower the number of livestock lost to diseases, leading to more acceptance and an increased ability to live alongside the snow leopard. Find out more about snow leopard-friendly livestock vaccination.
- Partnering with communities in snow leopard habitat, the Trust improves livestock corrals to prevent predation by snow leopards. Find out about predator-proof corrals.
- Through education programs for children and adults in snow leopard habitat, the Trust raises awareness for the value and vital importance of an intact ecosystem and a healthy natural fauna, including the snow leopard and its prey species. Learn more about snow leopard conservation education.
- A pioneering reward program for citizens and park rangers who apprehend poachers empowers people in snow leopard habitat to enforce the law and protect these cats. Get details about the Snow Leopard Trust’s anti-poaching rewards program.
The Snow Leopard Trust
- Founded in 1981 in Seattle by the late Helen Freeman
- Active in 5 key snow leopard range countries: China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Pakistan
- The largest and oldest snow leopard conservation organization in the world, the Snow Leopard Trust has been a key player in the global effort to protect this endangered cat, from organizing and hosting the first Snow Leopard Survival Summit in Seattle and co-founding the Snow Leopard Network in 2002 to helping lead the Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection Program, agreed upon by all 12 snow leopard range countries in 2013.
President: Rhetick Sengupta
Executive Director: Michael Despines
Director of Science & Conservation: Dr. Charudutt Mishra
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