Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, we’ve been able to make a real difference for snow leopards in 2018.
For the fourth year in a row, we can say with very high confidence that ZERO snow leopards have been killed in areas where we work on the ground.
Through community-based conservation programs, we reach around 5,500 families in five key range countries. The areas our partner communities help us keep safe for snow leopards add up to around 10% of the cat’s estimated global range. We estimate that these community-protected areas are home to between 400 and 600 snow leopards. Those are cats YOU are keeping safe!
There has been amazing progress for snow leopards once again in 2018
In Mongolia, the Tost Nature Reserve is now entirely free of mining licenses! Since 2011, a total of 37 mining licenses had been issued to private companies in this prime snow leopard habitat – and you’ve been by our side every step of the way as we worked to protect this land.
In 2016, after years of grassroots campaigning, the parliament of Mongolia declared Tost a State Nature Reserve. In 2017, the government ratified the Reserve’s boundaries, putting the parliament’s decision into action. This year, another key step was taken, as the government has bought back the last remaining mining licenses in the area. Now, Tost is officially safe from the threat of mining!
Read more about Tost Nature Reserve:
Mongolian herder woman Surenkhuu Luvsan, one of the community advocates who played a key role in protecting Tost, was recognized for her role in this amazing success story with the 2018 David Shepherd Conservation Award.
Meet Surenkhuu Luvsan, herder and conservation hero:
In Kyrgyzstan, we discovered the first snow leopard cubs in the Shamshy Wildlife Sancturary you helped us establish in 2016. And we’ve negotiated with the government to expand the protected area by more than fifteen times, adding two more former hunting concessions to it next year! This massive area will be free of any hunting and will provide a safe haven for wildlife for generations. In 2019, we’ll start working with local communities, authorities, entrepreneurs and investors to help the communities in this area jumpstart the local economy based on green, sustainable enterprise, driven by wildlife conservation.
Our community-based conservation work in India was documented in a short film entitled “Living with Snow Leopards – Tashi’s Story”. The film, produced by SLT board member Gayle Podrabski, was selected as the year’s best film on conservation solutions at the 2018 Big Cat Film Festival, held by the United Nations. It was also shown on PBS Nature in December, reaching an even larger audience!
We’ve also taken big steps forward in our understanding of snow leopards. All snow leopard range country governments and key conservation organizations have endorsed the Population Assessment of the World’s Snow Leopards (PAWS), an ambitious project which we have championed for several years. With various partners, we’ve begun working on best practices and a research plan that will help the snow leopard conservation community finally come up with a scientifically solid estimate of this threatened cat’s population and status.
Our Long-Term Ecological Study of snow leopards in Mongolia has celebrated its ten-year anniversary this year – and it has perhaps been the most exciting year so far! Our field teams have managed to collar a record seven wild snow leopards. This takes the total of cats we’re currently tracking to nine – more than any other study has collared in total! The four males and five female cats will give us invaluable insights into snow leopard ecology and behavior. Among them is a mother-daughter pair we are tracking simultaneously. In a few months, the young one should disperse from her mother and find her own home range – and thanks to your support, we’ll be able to observe and document this key step in her development.
We’ve also begun a fascinating new phase of research: besides snow leopards, we’ve also started tracking wild ibex and domestic goats this year with GPS collars. This will allow us to understand the complex dynamics between predator, prey and livestock in the ecosystem.
Finally, we’re making strides in our work with governments. In Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, management plans for the protection of at least one of their key snow leopard landscapes have been created with our technical input, and other countries are following suit. And with the help of US Fish and Wildlife Services, Interpol and other partners, we’ve started the development of a new database on snow leopard poaching and trafficking to help law enforcement agencies identify hotspots and close loopholes.
Read more about our anti-poaching work:
Our work has been recognized with the highest possible rating of four stars by Charity Navigator. You, our supporters, have reviewed us favorably enough to earn the distinction as one of 2018’s Top Rated Nonprofits on GreatNonProfits.com. And you show your faith and confidence in through your generous donations, snow leopard adoptions, product purchases and other interactions with us.
None of this would have been possible without you, our wonderful donors, funders and partners. From all of us at the Snow Leopard Trust, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support!