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 a new way to fund important projects by raising many small amounts of money from a lot people via social media.
The Save Our Snow Leopards (SOS) project gives the people of India and anyone else around the world the opportunity to support conservation of the beautiful snow leopard which lives in parts of the Indian Himalayas
Snow leopards are found in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. India has the third largest snow leopard population but there are only between 400 and 700 of them so the country needs to increase both research and community education programs to save the remaining cats.
Why people give
So far SOS has raised over 800,000 INR out of a goal of 1,500,000 INR. People are contributing for many reasons. One contributor said “WWF is a respectable organization. I truly felt the need to do something about the Snow Leopard,” while another wanted to donate as “it is my way of giving back and doing my little part for the good of the planet. Another said “I love animals; I am a nature lover, a landscape photographer. I would do anything to conserve our environment.”
What the money will be used for
The money raised will be used for setting up camera traps to study numbers of snow leopards and their movement as well as to fund building of predator-proof livestock pens for local communities in snow leopard habitats. When snow leopards are kept out of livestock pens they cannot kill villager sheep or goats so local herders and villagers have no cause to kill the cats.
The SOS campaign is an initiative of both WWF India and Tata and they are using their email lists and Facebook pages etc. Tata is also getting support for the campaign through the ‘Green Guardians’, their employee supporters.
Mr. Brotin Banerjee, CEO and Managing Director, Tata Housing Development Company said, “At Tata Housing, we feel it is important to maintain the balance of natural flora and fauna in the environment along with creating green development to prevent environmental degradation. Our partnership with WWF-India is in line with our efforts to safeguard and conserve India’s unique natural heritage of high altitude wildlife populations and their habitats. We hope our efforts to save the snow leopard will result in maintaining the required ecological balance.”
Save Our Snow Leopards is an opportunity for people anywhere to donate a small amount but make a big difference to the future of the “ghost of the mountains”. You can donate here.
Read an account of a trek to see a snow leopard in the wild in India. Saving Snow Leopard’s Blog trek into the lair of the cat in Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India.