We haven’t written much about the snow leopards of Kazakhstan in this blog as there has been little conservation or research work done there in the past. This is rapidly changing.
“IRBIS – The Snow Leopard” about Kazakhstan’s rare snow leopards has just been published in English. Written by biologists Oleg and Irina Loginov this book was previously only available in Russian. It is a major initiative of Kazakhstan’s “Snow Leopard Fund” (Ust Kamenogorsk) with the financial support of the UN (UNDP/GEF). The snow leopard is an important symbol in the history of the country and now efforts are being made to help its survival in the Kazakhstan part of the Altai-Sayan ecoregion which has for many years been known to be snow leopard habitat but has had few conservation or community development efforts focused there.
Oleg says, “In Kazakh public consciousness the snow leopard is often called “The Master of Celestial Mountains”, and it is a predator never attacking people. Snow leopard protection is still insufficient – more than 90 % of habitats of a snow leopard are not covered by especially protected natural territories.” Oleg believes snow leopards require more protected reserves in Kazakhstan. “All places of snow leopard habitat in mountains, as a rule, have no intensive economic activities, therefore can quite become extensive natural parks or game reserves.”
Oleg says the book has been written with great emotion and “is entertaining and accessible to the widest audience. It can be used as manual for schoolboys and students, and for the foreign tourists, wishing to learn more about a live symbol of “Celestial Mountains”, and in general for people loving the nature.”
The unique photos of a wild snow leopard in the book were taken in Almaty area in Dzungarian Ala-Tau (Kazakhstan) by Renat Minibaev. There are also beautiful snow leopard portraits by Raphael Kettsian from Ekaterinburg (Russia), and also water colour drawings by Victor Bakhtin, Victor Pavlushin and Oleg Loginov. Irina Loginov’s fairy tale ”Spirits of Sacred Mountain” is also included in the edition, illustrated with drawings by the author.
Congratulations Oleg and all those concerned and we wish you well with your efforts to protect the snow leopards of Kazakhstan.
The beautiful Book is a limited edition publication available for $300. Contact Oleg – firstname.lastname@example.org