Kyrgyzstan in central Asia has around 300 snow leopards living in its mountains. NABU, the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union and officials from Kyrgyzstan announced today they will create a ten year program to protect the endangered snow leopard in this habitat. An international conference to launch the project will be held in the capital, Bishtek in 2012. German Chancellor Angela Merkel supports the project and will be at the launch along with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
NABU estimates that 50% of the cats in Kyrgyzstan have been lost in the last 15 years. An anti-poaching brigade, the Gruppa Bars, was set up to stop the illegal killing of these beautiful cats for fur and body parts.