by Sibylle on August 20, 2012

Snow Leopard. Photo WWF.Welcome to resources and news on how local communities and conservationists are saving the endangered snow leopard and protecting its Central Asian mountain habitat.

Keen to help save endangered snow leopards?  Get involved here.

First International Snow Leopard Day 23rd October

by Sibylle on October 22, 2014

iNTERNATIONAL dAY snow leopard day for SLB FBDear readers, you might feel great snow leopard excitement today.

Thursday October 23rd 2014 is the first ever International Snow Leopard Day, celebrated by snow leopard NGO’s. There will be many special awareness raising and educational activities in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.

Bishkek was the venue for the Global Snow Leopard and Eco-system Protection program launch in October last year. All 12 range countries came together to work to protect snow leopards across their high mountain country boundaries.

This initiative, spear headed by the President Almazbek Atambayev with the support of snow leopard NGO’s, the World bank, WWF and others is bringing the focus on saving snow leopards in threatened habitats over the next 6 years.

The Snow Leopard Network, the community of over 500 snow leopard researchers, conservationists, scientists, biologists and others has today launched it’s updated Snow Leopard Survival Strategy 2014.1 – a completely revised document on the current status of the endangered cat in it’s 12 range countries, the threats facing it and the best practice conservation programs already in place to help it secure a future and to support the people sharing it’s habitat.

Snow leopards are among the most enigmatic and difficult to study of the large wild cats. It is estimated that only around 4,500 to 6500 cats survive in the wild today.

Saving Snow Leopards Report joins the Snow Leopard Conservancy (SLC) and the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) in celebrating the first ever Snow Leopard Day. We hope dear reader of this blog, you have a wonderful day and help support any way you can – spread the word, donate to the SLT and SLC or purchase some wonderful snow leopard craft products.


Charu Mishra, Brad Rutherford and Kuban Jumabai congratulate ranger Toktosun uulu Urmat for his antipoaching work in Kyrgyz Republic in snow leopard habitat. (Photo SLT.)

Charu Mishra, Brad Rutherford and Kuban Jumabai congratulate ranger Toktosun uulu Urmat for his antipoaching work in Kyrgyz Republic in snow leopard habitat. (Photo SLT.)

Wildlife rangers and local people in snow leopard habitats are often at the front line of conservation efforts to save the cats. Often the front line can also mean a firing line as these courageous people have to confront hunters and poachers with guns.

“Park rangers … work hard to stop these outside poachers – but their efforts too often go unrecognized”, says Charu Mishra, Executive Director of the Snow Leopard Network and the Science and Conservation Director of the Snow Leopard Trust.

Toktosun uulu Urmat is a ranger in the mountains of Sarychat-Ertash Nature Reserve in the Kyrgyz Republic, a country with an estimated 100 or so snow leopards. Asanakunov Akil is a member of the local community. Together the two men apprehended a group of illegal hunters in the reserve, took away their guns and ammunition and reported them to the local authorities. Both men have trained and worked hard to get to this stage of participating in their country’s wildlife and biodiversity efforts and they operate in mountain conditions that can be hard physically with high altitudes and extreme cold temperatures.

The men received a citation and also shared a cash award of 10,000 Kyrgyz soms during the recent Global Snow Leopard Forum at Lake Issyk Kul in Kyrgyz Republic. The awards were organised by the Snow Leopard Trust under its new Citizen Ranger Wildlife Protection Program which aims to recognise and reward the efforts of rangers and citizens involved in courageous anti-poaching operations.

“The two awardees were very proud and happy to see their work recognized in this way”, said Kuban Jumabai, the local Kyrgyz Republic representative of the Snow Leopard Trust. He and Brad Rutherford, the Executive Director of the Snow Leopard Trust understand the importance of supporting front line efforts by local communities.

From whales to snow leopards – genetic sampling two rare species

July 14, 2014 Guest Blogger

Guest blogger, Dr Natalie Schmitt, a biologist researching the humpback whale turns her focus and skills to snow leopards. She shares her journey with us here. “In biological terms, a “rare” animal is one that is in low abundance or restricted geographical distribution or both, whereas an “elusive” animal refers to one that has a […]

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People of India giving a little to make a big difference to their wild snow leopards

June 18, 2014 India

  Across India people are giving small amountsof money to make a big difference to the remaining snow leopards in their country. In a wonderful new initiative WWF India is partnering with Tata Housing to save the country’s snow leopards through the first ever crowd funding campaign for species conservation in India. Crowd funding is […]

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Will climate change bring snow leopard and common leopard into conflict?

June 15, 2014 Climate change

Countries like India, Bhutan, Nepal and China have both snow leopards (Panthera Uncia) and common leopards (Panthera Pardus). Snow leopard and common leopard, although very different in shape and colour, are similar in size and studies have shown they have similar food habits, liking wild animals like musk deer and Himalayan tahr. They also prey […]

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The journey continues – next big Snow Leopard meeting to secure long term future for the cats

June 5, 2014 Bishkek Declaration

“Saving Snow Leopard Blog” readers will recall that last year saw the first ever get together of high government officials from ALL 12 snow leopard range countries in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. Initiated by the Kyrgyz President, the event was ground breaking and saw all the countries sign the “Bishkek Declaration”, promising to work together over […]

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Not roaring but chuffing – hear a snow leopard’s calls

May 27, 2014 Behavior

The news story said hear the snow leopard in Russia roar but snow leopards are the only big cat that cannot roar. This is due to the physiology of their vocal tract which lacks the thick pad of elastic tissue that enables the other cats like lions and tigers to roar. Many zoo keepers and […]

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Chinese soldiers save snow leopard from drowning

May 13, 2014 China

Chinese soldiers this week saved an injured snow leopard that was trapped in a dam in a coal mine in Xinjiang. The soldiers along with staff from the nearby animal husbandry department used a large fishing net to slip around the cat and lift it up to saftey from a steel beam just above water […]

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Snow leopard eats too many of herder’s sheep but still gets away

April 28, 2014 China

The BBC has reported a story that gladdens the heart of all of us working in snow leopard conservation. A herder found a snow leopard and filmed it after it had attacked and eaten a number of his sheep from his flock. The herder said the cat was too full to jump out of the […]

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Zoo blogger researching snow leopards in Nepal – interview with Jonny Hanson

April 20, 2014 Community-based conservation

This month’s snow leopard conservation guest interview is with Jonny Hanson who is doing a Ph D at the University of Cambridge, looking at conflict between the cats and the local people in Nepal. Jonny is breaking new ground in that as he is doing his research he is also using social media to share […]

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