Protecting the World's Last Snow Leopard
To save these animals from extinction, while developing management plans for their future conservation.
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
The snow leopard is an elusive member of the cat family living in the remote mountain ranges of Central Asia. It is now critically endangered as numbers in the wild have fallen to as low as 3,500. They are killed by local herdsmen to protect their flocks and their fur and body parts are sold to the traditional Chinese medicine trade.
The project will improve understanding of the snow leopard ecology, behaviour and habitat requirements in order to design and implement effective conservation measures. At the same time, outreach and community workers will engage with 280 families living alongside snow leopard territory to facilitate greater understanding of this wild cat and to instigate income generating initiatives, such as wool handicrafts, to reduce the financial pressures which can lead to the killing of the snow leopard.
To learn more about the life and habitat of the snow leopard
Activities» Tracking and monitoring of snow leopards will provide vital information about their numbers, their habitat and their interaction with local farmers.
Success will be measured in terms of data available about snow leopard numbers, breeding patterns, territories and habitats
To raise awareness amongst the local communities about the plight of the snow leopard
Activities» Outreach programmes will help communities to live more harmoniously alongside the snow leopard
Success will be measured by a reduction in the number of snow leopards killed by farmers
To support alternative income generating programmes in return for the protection of the snow leopard
Activities» Funding training and equipment for (ultimately) self sustaining weaving groups to make wool products for sale abroad
Success will be the numbers of local communities participating in weaving groups, for example and the diversification of income streams for these communities.
To provide insurance schemes to compensate farmers for the loss of livestock to snow leopards
Activities» Encourage farmers to take out insurance to protect their livestock.
Success will be measured in terms of the numbers participating in the schemes and a fall in the number of leopards killed to protect livestock.
The population of snow leopards will increase to sustainable numbers and local communities will learn to live harmoniously alongside the show leopard, through greater education and income protection and generation schemes.
Many of the region's snow leopards are to be found in Mongolia, a country rich in minerals. These have attracted a number of mining companies to the region and often their activites encroach upon the snow leopard's territory. Their impact has the potential to be far more damaging to leopard numbers than local hunting. The project team is already in consultation with government and local officials to ensure that mine boundaries are drawn outside snow leopard territory.
The Foundation reports on projects on its website and in its enews letter. Its biannual newsletter - Wildlife Matters - also updates supporters on all project progress, but major donors can also receive tailored reports according to their own reporting requirements.
Budget - Project Cost: £92,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £48,000 Salaries Project staff salaries £35,000 Field project Equipment, lodging, food, communications £9,000 Outreach Transport, per diem costs, materials, room hire
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Panthera Foundation £12,300 Conditional CGMK Foundation £7,800 Guaranteed Regina Bauer Frankenberg Foundation £24,900 Guaranteed
Communities in snow leopard territories in Mongolia
The Foundation has supported snow leopard projects in the region for over 10 years. Working closely with the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) the Foundation has supported a number of successful initiatives which have seen habitats protected and farmers compensated for their loss of livestock.
Expert people on the ground are able to deliver efficient and effective solutions which are sympathetic to the local communities in which they operate, but continue to support snow leopard numbers.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Project Manager and Director of Science and Conservation at the Snow Leopard Trust