Snow leopards live in vast home ranges - some cats have been known to use up to 1,000 square kilometers. While it is important to secure their key habitats through Protected Areas, it simply isn't enough.
To protect these endangered cats, we need to work at a larger landscape level, and find ways for snow leopards to coexist with the people sharing their habitat. This is the focus of our conservation approach.
Many of the families living in snow leopard habitat are herders who live on less than $2 per day and depend on their livestock for food and income. The snow leopard occasionally attacks and kills livestock, and members of these low-income communities sometimes resort to retaliation killings or poaching of snow leopards to protect their herds of livestock or earn extra money.
Our community-based conservation programs aim to break this cycle of poverty and create incentives for herders to protect local wildlife and ecosystems.
Drawing from more than two decades of real-life experience as well as from various disciplines such as ecology, sociology, social psychology and negotiation theory, we've developed a set of eight broad principles for engaging with communities for the purpose of wildlife conservation.
Snow Leopard Enterprises is an award-winning, conservation-focused handicrafts brand that helps create sustainable economic opportunities for families in snow leopard habitat and reduce the motivation behind poaching.
The loss of even a single animal to predation can create great financial hardship to herder families. Our livestock insurance program helps rural communities reduce the financial impact of snow leopard predation by giving them access to compensation for animals lost.
Some herder families in snow leopard habitat lose up to five times more livestock to diseases than to predation. The livestock vaccination and ecosystem health program helps solve that problem by offering vaccines and animal husbandry trainings in snow leopard communities.
In order to foster an even stronger acceptance of snow leopards among local herders, we’re working to prevent livestock losses from happening by creating incentives for more careful herding practices, and by building predator-proof corrals with herding communities.
The Snow Leopard Trust is partnering with the Kyrgyz government to better train and recognize law enforcement officials, protected area rangers and local community members in snow leopard habitat for their fight against poachers.
To strengthen community-based conservation efforts and inspire the next generation of nature conservationists, the Snow Leopard Trust runs environmental education programs for children and adults in the areas where we work, including outdoor eco-camps and Nature Clubs.