Stunning New Snow Leopard Pics From Kyrgyzstan

A few weeks ago, Kuban Jumabai uulu, our Kyrgyzstan Program Director, traveled to Sarychat-Ertash Reserve to collect research cameras deployed earlier this year. The pictures he found on these cameras offer breathtaking glimpses into the secretive world of one of the world’s rarest cats, the elusive snow leopard!

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During the trip, Kuban also trained five rangers from Kyrgyzstan’s Chon-Kemin National Park on snow leopard sign identification and the basics of camera trapping to empower them to conduct snow leopard surveys on their own.

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Joining them were Udayan Rao Pawar, a young Indian photographer who was named Wildlife Photographer of the year in 2013 by BBC, and Ilya Domashov, a field researchers with the Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Program secretariat.

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These rare photos aren’t just stunning to look at – they’re also of critical importance for conservation! They allow researchers to estimate populations and how they change over time, and they give information on habitat hot spots that need to be prioritized for protection.

In the last couple of years, our generous supporters have made it possible for us to greatly expand our camera studies across the snow leopard’s range. Each such camera costs approx. $500, and a reliable study of just one landscape requires at least 40 cameras.

You can help as well! Please consider making a gift today, so our researchers can purchase more cameras and conduct even more surveys in the remote habitat of the mysterious snow leopard!

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This work has been supported by the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, the Chattanooga Zoo, and Fondation Segré / Whitley Fund for Nature.

23 Comments

  1. These photos are so precious…thank you!!! keep them coming. and deep condolences to Kuban’s family. He left very important work.

    [Dear Georgia. Thank you for your comment. Just to clarify: Kuban Jumabai uulu, our Kyrgyz program director, is fine. We lost a Mongolian friend and colleague, Sumbe Tomorsukh, recently though. Thank you. Matt, SLT Communications Manager]

    1. Dear Georgia. Thank you for your comment. Just to clarify: Kuban Jumabai uulu, our Kyrgyz program director, is fine. We lost a Mongolian friend and colleague, Sumbe Tomorsukh, recently though. Thank you. Matt, SLT Communications Manager

  2. Absolutely love what you do, these amazing magnificent animals deserve a better life and people like you and me who care what happens to them and the future of their species

  3. Amazing shots! The second image with the prey is even more special than the rest because it shows a lactating female. Either pregnant, soon to give birth or already has a young ones waiting for her.

  4. Good research work on Snow Leopard. The findings will definitely contribute to the SL conservation initiatives across the habit range.

  5. Kuban – these photographs are amazing! Your work is so important in learning about these beautiful, elusive cats. Are you able to Identify individuals through these pictures? You give us hope that conservation efforts to protect these endangered cats will be a success! Thanks for all you do!

    1. Hi Karin. You nailed it – the photos actually allow researchers to ID individuals by their fur patterns, which then allows them to reliably estimate populations, and population developments. This data also help to identify priority conservation hot spots.

      Matt, SLT Communications Manager

  6. Only a few years ago such stunning pictures and information on the elusive snow leopard would have been beyond all of our wildest dreams – bravo !

    Belinda Wright
    WPSI

  7. Incredible pictures of this soooo beautiful cat, (like all cats). thank you to the conservationist all over the world at protecting the animals and their habitat, you are an inspiration and motivators to everyone who sees the beauty and connection to the planet and our fellow beings.

    Duncan Ward

  8. Very nice and perfect photos. It will enhance the courage and vigor of wildlife biologist and others too. Congratulation.

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