On October 23, International Snow Leopard Day, runners around the world will be able to run with a snow leopard for the next 12 days. Using the freely downloadable adidas Running app, users will be able to track their runs and test their endurance against Uuliin Ezen, a wild snow leopard in Mongolia. Uuliin is tracked using GPS technology for scientific purposes by the Snow Leopard Trust and its partner, the Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation. As part of the campaign, Uulin will post his daily running statistics in the Challenges feature of the adidas Running app. Users are encouraged to push themselves to outrun Uuliin’s daily distance. Apart from updates on his athletic performance, activities and challenges in finding food and staying safe, Uuliin will also encourage users to support snow leopard conservation.
HEALTH, FITNESS AND CONSERVATION
People living in cities and working in offices get fewer opportunities to interact with nature. Uulin will encourage people do get outdoors, and through physical activity, help them create a meaningful connection with nature.
With daily updates about Uuliin’s athletic feats, the Run Wild campaign aims to create a positive and powerful connection between runners and an endangered species, to grow their understanding of the complexity of conservation, and to harness support for the hard work it takes to keep Uuliin and others of his species safe.
Dr. Charu Mishra, Executive Director of Snow Leopard Trust and an avid endurance runner who ran the Boston Marathon earlier this year for snow leopards, says: “Running is a fun and exhilarating way to improve individual physical and mental fitness. To be able to connect running with nature conservation – a most worthy social cause – is just wonderful. We are very excited about this campaign, that would reach out to 150+ million registered users of adidas Runtastic worldwide.”
A COLLABORATION FOR IMPACT
The Snow Leopard Trust is a global leader in snow leopard science and conservation. The Trust’s scientists have radio collared Uuliin and several other snow leopards and are following these endangered animals using GPS data to better understand their ecological needs and behaviors in order to ensure their survival. Agvaantseren Bayarjargal, the Trust’s Mongolia Program Director and Head of the Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation, says “Conservation is all about partnerships. It is great that we are able to be a part of this exciting collaboration to raise awareness of snow leopards”. Internet of Elephants has used the data on Uulin to create fun ways for people to engage and get them involved in snow leopard conservation. adidas Runtastic integrates the data into the app and enables users to compare their daily runs with Uulin’s real activities. The United Nations Environment Program brought these various organizations together. To ensure the safety of the animals, the actual GPS locations are not disclosed.
“I am very proud of this campaign and really excited that after the huge success of adidas Run for the Oceans we will create again positive impact to our planet through the power of digital,” said Chris Thaller of adidas Runtastic. Through the Run Wild campaign, Uuliin will help raise awareness and support among millions of adidas Runtastic users for the snow leopard conservation and the work of the Snow Leopard Trust.