International Snow Leopard Trust Programs
Snow leopards are endangered and declining across Central Asia. We are working to save them through community conservation, research and education.
Snow leopards have huge home ranges--up to 4 times the size of Seattle! Within these large home ranges, snow leopards often overlap areas used by people and their livestock. Collaborating with local communities is the key to saving snow leopards from extinction. At the Snow Leopard Trust we have been developing community-based conservation programs for more than a decade. Our unique conservation programs protect snow leopards and their prey while improving the quality of life for participating communities.
Snow leopards are also highly cryptic and are one of the least studied of the world’s large cats. Fundamental knowledge required for their conservation is lacking. The Snow Leopard Trust is carrying out numerous research projects in key snow leopard habitats, and is managing a long-term study in southern Mongolia. This 15-year study is using state-of-the-art technology, such as satellite GPS collars, digital photo trap cameras, and genetic studies to provide the information needed to help ensure the long-term survival of the cats.
In addition to community conservation and research, education is an important factor in the Trust’s ability to save snow leopards from extinction. We strive to provide environmental education within snow leopard landscapes and to people around the world to build greater awareness and appreciation for snow leopard conservation.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The Snow Leopard Trust and its dedicated staff have been recognized with several recent rewards including the Rabinowitz-Kaplan Prize, the Whitley Gold Award, and the Golden Ark Award. The Trust has also been recognized with Charity Navigator's highest 4-star rating.
One of our biggest recent successes was working with the community of Tost in southern Mongolia to apply for and receive government approval for a 6500 sq km Local Protected Area. This protected area covers important snow leopard habitat, including our long-term study site and the home ranges of over a dozen identified cats. Protected area status will help safeguard this land and improve wildlife management within its boundaries. Data from our long-term study was instrumental during the application process, and our team helped facilitate community and government meetings to make this process a success.
In addition to carrying on our research within the Local Protected Area, we are working with the Tost community through two programs: Snow Leopard Enterprises and Livestock Insurance Program. With your support, we can help herders make and sell handicrafts for Snow Leopard Enterprises, and insure their livestock against livestock predation. These activities help herders financially tolerate livestock losses to snow leopards and reduce instances of poaching and retribution killing. Recently, multiple families have lost dozens of livestock to snow leopards and we're working to engage them in these programs--your help is vital towards making this possible.