Four decades of snow leopards conservation


High Asia Herald

Considered as the icon of High Asia, the elusive snow leopards have evolved to live in some of the world’s highest and coldest ranges in 12 countries across Central Asia and South Asia.

The ranges inhabited by snow leopards and people often overlap, creating challenges as well as opportunities for their conservation.

Called ‘ghost of mountains’, the snow leopard has the ability to camouflage easily and blend with its surroundings.

Climate change, human and common leopard intrusions in their habitats, pose threats to snow leopards.

There are some organisations including Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) that have been working on the conservation of snow leopards. However, high priority research is necessary for effective conservation planning for snow leopards and their habitat in High Asia.

A lot has changed in 40 years. Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) has evolved and grown since its inception four decades ago.

“When we envisioned how we wanted to celebrate this milestone, we knew our goal was to bring as many people into the fold as possible: snow leopard champions from years past, current monthly donors, new enthusiasts and everyone in between,” writes SLT in a post documenting the efforts of the organisation during the last four decades. 

Founded by Helen Freeman in 1980, the snow leopards conservation has been strengthened by and gained significant support from people and communities in the habitat regions. 

In retrospection, the SLT has documented how the organisation evolved and translated the possibilities into reality over the last 40 years in 12 countries — China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia.

Also read: Climate change threatens Pakistan’s elusive snow leopard

It also gives a glimpse of the strides the organisation made in protecting wild snow leopards through partnerships in 12 countries that are habitats of the snow leopard.

Building global partnerships

Counting ghost cats to improve population estimates

Empowering women in conservation

Building community resilience to protect wildlife

Inspiring the next generation of conservation leaders

This year marks SLT 40th anniversary. The Trust is collecting stories about its work or a particular experience from conservationists and supporters. 

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