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Project information

Global network for the endangered snow leopard

Without action, the endangered snow leopard could be lost from the wild within the next 50 years.

Help us raise funds to conserve snow leopards and their wild habitats through a global strategy to bring together and coordinate the efforts of the world’s snow leopard conservationists

December 2010 - January 2012

Charity information: Whitley Fund for Nature

Whitley Fund for Nature logo
  • Need


    The elusive snow leopard is one of the most endangered, but least understood big cats in the world; as few as 3,500 remain in the wild. Illegal poaching for their pelts, persecution by people and the decline of wild prey all threaten their survival. Effective conservation work is being done by committed research teams across Central Asia, but is greatly underfunded, and in danger of being overwhelmed by growing human populations, mining interests in Central Asia and political apathy


    The Snow Leopard Network is a worldwide voluntary organization of snow leopard experts created to improve results sharing and collaboration for snow leopard conservation. Your support will help SLN develop a global strategy identifying priority areas for conservation of these big cats, and bringing together expertise to inform national policy action. SLN offers competitive seed funding to help fund the important, under-resourced conservation and research projects needed to save snow leopards.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Assess worldwide status of snow leopards to produce a global strategy for their survival.


    » Collate and discuss worldwide expert knowledge on threats, management techniques and conservation priorities
    » Identify key current threats to snow leopards in each range country based on worldwide expert knowledge
    » Identify key conservation and research needs in each range country based on regional expert knowledge
    » Edit, publish and distribute the Snow Leopard Survival Strategy, and update it every 3-5 years.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...Publication of the global snow leopard survival strategy by July 2011, with summary versions translated into all major range country languages

    Aim 2

    Seed-fund community-backed grassroots conservation and research projects in priority habitats


    » Spread awareness of small grants program especially within snow leopard range countries
    » Fund grassroots projects addressing key threats or information needs through the small grants program following rigorous review by leading experts

    What success will look like

    Success will be...Minimum of £33,000 additional funding to S.L. conservation projects by 2011; sustainable source of funds for small grants program developed by 2011.

    Aim 3

    Address political apathy and support conservation policy initiatives in snow leopard range countries


    » Issue policy briefs for key topics e.g. captive breeding, fate and translocation of wild snow leopards, mining in snow leopard habitat
    » Encourage range country conservationists to work with national governments for better snow leopard conservation policies
    » Provide knowledge, advice, and funding for policy initiatives in snow leopard range countries, when appropriate and possible.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...Minimum of two regionally significant policy briefs developed annually; assistance for at least one national policy initiative by Jan 2012.

    Aim 4

    Act as coordinator and global hub for information exchange on snow leopard conservation and research


    » Strengthen SLN’s online library to create a comprehensive source of all available literature on snow leopards and their habitat
    » Proactively share media and other articles on snow leopards and their habitat and communicate the urgency to the general public
    » Increase membership of SLN to create a unified voice for snow leopard conservation
    » Act as mediator in case of differences or disputes amongst members involved in snow leopard conservation.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...Representative membership of SLN increased in every snow leopard range country by Jul 2011; free access online library fully up to date by Jan 2011.

  • Impact


    SLN is the sole global alliance of snow leopard conservationists. Snow leopards know no boundaries and range across national borders. To conserve them, we need to work together. The project will provide funding for conservation action where it is needed most. It will create better conservation policies for snow leopards and their habitat based on scientific data. Success will be the effective implementation of the survival strategy – and in the long term, avoidance of snow leopard extinction.


    Lack of financial sustainability is the most important threat to SLN, a voluntary body dependent on donations, the ongoing support of hosting institutions and some members who support it. Creating long-term donor interest while raising adequate funds over the shorter term will be critical. A ‘business’ plan projecting the needs and possible long-term sources will be developed and the donor base expanded. Services of a part-time development position supported by WFN will be channelized for SLN.


    Emails from SLN with updates on the project’s progress.
    Newsletters with the latest from the Whitley Fund for Nature, including this project.
    Invitations to attend inspiring talks by visiting Whitley Award winners, which in the past having included SLN Director, Dr. Charu Mishra.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £26,000 Small Grants Seed funding for SLN small Grants for 2 years
      £3,500 Policy initiatives Support for in-country policy initiatives
      £3,800 Publishing/communications Editorial/publishing for global status evaluation. SLN website, library and communications
      £3,000 Staff Part-time staff for co-ordinating global status evaluation
      £3,700 Project monitoring Project monitoring (c. 10% of project cost

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Snow Leopard Trust £6,517 Guaranteed
  • Background


    This global project focuses on c.2 million km2 of snow leopard habitat in 12 countries of Central Asia. They are developing economies, with 40% of the population living below national poverty lines. The economies of China, India, and Mongolia are changing fast, creating new challenges and opportunities for conservation. Most countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Kyrgyzstan face political and factional challenges, relegating conservation behind in national priorities.


    We expect conservationists working to study and save the snow leopard and its habitat, and national and local governments of the 12 snow leopard range countries to benefit from this project. Because there is a consensus amongst snow leopard conservationists regarding the need for local community involvement in snow leopard conservation, we also expect pastoral communities living in snow leopard habitat to benefit from this project.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    WFN has supported snow leopard conservation in India since 2005 resulting in (i) national conservation policy called Project Snow Leopard (ii) successful models of community based conservation and human-snow leopard conflict management and (iii) scientific research and capacity enhancement. Dr. Mishra, who led these efforts with WFN funding, is uniquely placed as Executive Director of SLN and the Science and Conservation Director of Snow Leopard Trust to make a global difference for this species

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Charu Mishra

    Whitley Gold Award winner from India (Bangalore), a world expert on snow leopards and the honorary Executive Director of the SLN.

    Georgina Domberger

    Director of WFN, responsible for project monitoring and evaluation, based in WFN’s London offices (U.K).

    Dr. Ashiq Ahmed Khan

    Chair of the Steering Committee of SLN, a highly respected conservationist and snow leopard expert from Pakistan.

    Dr. Rodney Jackson

    Chair of the Science Committee of SLN who pioneered snow leopard research and is a world expert on the endangered cat.