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Snow leopard protected by Mongolian herder

Ganaa the Mongolian herder who is taking a keen interest in snow leopard conservation with the Panthera / Snow Leopard Trust research team. Photo Barbara Blywise.

Ganaa is a herder from a small community in Mongolian snow leopard habitat of the Tost Mountains. Here Panthera and Snow Leopard Trust are doing a world first long-term snow leopard research project. Ganna lives in a tent nearby and makes his living from a herd of domestic livestock. Traditionally herders like Ganaa and the snow leopard would have been arch enemies as often the cats killed herders livestock. But this time the research team on site invited Ganaa to see how they worked. The SLT reports, “ We wanted Ganna to witness for himself why we are studying snow leopards. He became the first herder present during the collaring of a wild snow leopard and he was incredibly touched by the event. When we offered him the chance to pick a name for the snow leopard, he honored the cat with the name of his daughter Jade or Khashaa in Mongolian. Ganna linked the fate of his family to the fate of this snow leopard and he has been back to check on Khashaa ever since. More-over, Ganaa has become an ambassador for snow leopard conservation throughout his community.” A lovely story showing humans and top predators like snow leopards can live harmoniously together.  read more about this research project.

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