A Herder by Trade, a Conservationist by Calling

Some of the best conservationists are found among the rural communities who live side by side with the world’s endangered species. Davaa, a Mongolian herder, is such a local champion. Selected by his neighbors and friends as a community ranger, he now helps encourage sustainable practices and fosters tolerance among the community for the elusive snow leopard.

Poachers Identified Thanks to Camera Trap

Our Kyrgyz partner community of Enilchek lost a conservation bonus they would have been due for 2015 because a young man from the village was seen on a camera trap photo guiding poachers into nearby the locally protected area. Now, the young man’s family has agreed to compensate their fellow community members for the lost bonus payment – and our team has started installing camera traps to catch more poachers in the act.

Video: A New Year’s Snow Leopard Encounter

Our team in India’s Spiti Valley was treated to an extraordinary sighting of the elusive Ghost of the Mountain on a recent field visit. For Research Associate Ajay Bijoor, it was the first encounter with the cat he’s dedicated his life and career to. Read his account of an unforgettable day – and watch the amazing video footage the team managed to capture!

Wild Snow Leopard Prey Recovers Thanks to Reserve

18 years ago, we established our first grazing-free village reserve for wild snow leopard prey in partnership with the community of Kibber, India. Today, the area’s population of bharal, a wild sheep that’s among the snow leopard’s preferred prey species, is about four times higher than it was before the reserve was set up. Nine more of these reserves have since been started elsewhere in India. It’s been an important conservation initiative, but also an educational experience.