Highlights of 2017

Apr 5, 2018 1:28 am

Snow Leopard Annual Report

Photo courtesy of Janco van Gelderen

The Conservancy facilitated deployment of 57 new trail cameras in Mongolia, Nepal, and Pakistan, greatly adding to our local partners’ ability to monitor snow leopard populations in their critical habitat areas.

Tashi Ghale camera trap Annual Report

Tashi Ghale, Conservationist with Conservancy partner GPN, sets a trail camera in Nepal’s Manang District. Knowing the actual leopards that inhabit their neighborhood engages communities in better stewardship of the cats and their ecosystem.

Conservancy partners led the celebration of Snow Leopard Day in Nepal and Pakistan. Land of Snow Leopard (LOSL) Network members independently initiated celebrations in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Altai & Buryat Republics of Russia, and Tajikistan. Combined, their conservation messages reached some 15,000 students, teachers, and members of the general public living in snow leopard habitat.

Snow Leopard Play Russia

LOSL Network members organized the first cross-boundary Snow Leopard Day festival, between schools in the Russian and Mongolian Altai Mountains

Conservancy partners worked with herders to install Foxlights and predator-proof livestock corrals, protecting up to 125 snow leopards from retributive killing across more than 25 village areas in Nepal and Pakistan.

Herders setting up FoxLights Annual Report

Herders ready to set up their solar-powered Foxlights.

36 Community Monitors were trained by our Land of the Snow Leopard Network members in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia, and Mongolia, to use our special App for Android devices. They are now monitoring wildlife and collecting culturally-relevant stories that will inform innovative educa-tional tools for snow leopard conservation.


Sacred site Guardian Zhaparkul Raymbekov (seated, in white) gives a blessing for LOSL Network members at a sacred spring in Kyrgyzstan. The Conservancy works through the LOSL Network with Shamans, Sacred Site Guardians, and their supporters to revive traditions that protect snow leopards. Photo – Lyubov Ivashkina

Bhutan’s fifth annual Jomolhari Festival featured a new logo and felted snow leopard handi-crafts created by students at the school for the deaf.

Snow Leopard Logo annual report


Read our 2017 Annual Report here…


Featured Trail Camera Photo – Courtesy of Ghulam Mohammad, BWCDO

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World Wildlife Day 2018 – Big Cats

Mar 3, 2018 12:09 am

Photo by Steve Tracy

Photo courtesy of Steve Tracy

On December 20, 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 3 as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.

Theme for World Wildlife Day 2018

world wildlife day 2018 poster reduced

“Big cats are among the most powerful creatures to grace this planet, but they are also the most fragile. They are facing many threats to their survival in the wild, be it loss of habitat and prey, poaching and smuggling, human-wildlife conflict or climate change.”

Click here to read more on the official website!

world wildlife day 2018

Meet the Big Cats 

Tiger – Lion – Jaguar – Leopard 
Cheetah – Puma 
Snow Leopard 
  • Poaching & illegal wildlife trade
  • Retaliatory killing as a result of human-predator conflict
  • Loss of prey from both illegal and legal hunting by humans
  • Loss of habitat
  • Climate change - impacting the entire ecosystem, including vegetation, water supplies, & animals – threatening to make up to a third of the snow leopard’s habitat unusable.

Current Conservation Efforts Focused on the Snow Leopard:

  • Commercial international trade is prohibited by CITES
  • Establishment of new protected areas
  • Anti-poaching measures – removing snares & the use of remote trail cameras
  • Initiatives to reduce conflict with herders – strengthening livestock corrals, electronic light deterrents, livestock insurance programs
  • Alternative livelihoods – ecotourism, handicrafts
  • Community awareness & conservation education – school-based programs, festivals
  • The Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program

Photo by Steve Tracy

Photo courtesy of Steve Tracy

There are many ways to get involved and “Make A Difference” for Snow Leopards in Honor of World Wildlife Day!

  • Learn more about Snow Leopards, the challenges they’re facing, and the ongoing conservation programs on our Website
  • Post on Social Media to “spread the word” & create awareness
  • Give a Monetary Gift to purchase items such as trail cameras, electronic light deterrents, fencing, and flashlights, or support conservation education in snow leopard range countries -
    • $10 provides art supplies for a Snow Leopard Day festival
    • $20 trains a teacher in environmental education
    • $60 provides binoculars for a student wildlife monitor
    • $100 rents two yaks to carry supplies for a summer environmental camp
  • Symbolically Adopt a Snow Leopard
  • Click on Make A Difference to discover other ways you can help!
  • Visit your local zoo or wildlife park
  • Volunteer your time




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News from Nepal

Feb 13, 2018 2:02 am

We were pleased to host Nepalese wildlife biologist Ganga Ram Regmi, Founder-Director of Global Primate Network (GPN), who traveled from Kathmandu to meet guests at a fundraiser earlier this month. Below are the highlights from Ganga’s presentation about our collaborative projects to build sustainable community-based snow leopard conservation in Nepal.

“Non-lethal methods of reducing livestock depredation by snow leopards include:”

Predator-Proof Corrals

Predator Proofed Corral

Solar-Powered Electric Fencing

Solar Powered Electric Fence

FoxLights Electronic Light Deterrents - I used to wake up at midnight in order to keep predators away, but after installing Foxlights, I can now take rest at night. – Phurba Lama.


“We provide warm clothing and basic equipment, which herders often lack, to patrol and monitor wildlife. We train up to 10 herders in each community to take responsibility for this work.”

Equipment for Herders

Coats Flashlights equipmentWe also provide radios with ‘voices’ that carry out over the herd and allow the herder to be away for a short time without worrying about his animals. The radios also enable families to listen to GPNs weekly radio program, Surroundings of the Snow Leopard, which reaches one million households throughout Nepal.”



“Snow Leopard Day Festivals and the school-based Snow Leopard Scouts engage school children in hands-on conservation action such as learning from Tashi Ghale, GPNs expert, below, how to monitor snow leopards using trail cameras.”

Snow Leopard Scouts learning about camera-trap photography

Snow Leopard Scouts learning about camera trap technology Nepal

All photos courtesy of Ganga Ram Regmi/Tashi. R. Ghale/GPN

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Dr. Rodney Jackson – 2018 Indianapolis Prize Finalist

Feb 6, 2018 8:01 am

Rodney JacksonFinalists Announced for World’s Leading Animal Conservation Award

Six conservation heroes in the running for the quarter million-dollar Indianapolis Prize


INDIANAPOLIS – Officials from the Indianapolis Prize today named Snow Leopard Conservancy’s Dr. Rodney Jackson as one of six Finalists for the world’s leading award for animal conservation.

Dr. Rodney Jackson joins conservation heroes Dr. Joel Berger, Dr. P. Dee Boersma, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Russell Mittermeier and Dr. Carl Safina in the running for the prestigious title of Indianapolis Prize Winner and an unrestricted $250,000 prize.

The Indianapolis Prize was created in 2006 to recognize best-in-class conservation solutions, bring innovative ideas to scale and reward the conservation heroes who have achieved major victories in saving species from extinction.

“The Indianapolis Prize Finalists are consistent winners in the ongoing battles to save threatened species,” said Michael I. Crowther, chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc., which administers the Indianapolis Prize as one of its signature global conservation initiatives. “By telling the stories of their heroism and their victories, the Indianapolis Prize aims to inspire more people to work for a planet that future generations will be happy to inherit, rather than be forced to endure.”

“The Indianapolis Prize is unique for the visibility and resources it brings to wildlife conservation,” said Dr. Jackson. “Receiving the Prize would help me secure the sustainability of the Snow Leopard Conservancy while devoting my time to mentoring the next generation of passionate snow leopard conservationists. These young men and women inhabit my dream of a future where snow leopards flourish throughout Asia’s high mountains. The Indianapolis Prize would help me realize that dream.”

The 2018 Indianapolis Prize Finalists include:

Joel Berger, Ph.D. (Colorado State University; Wildlife Conservation Society) — Distinguished scientist leading projects examining the effects of climate change on musk ox in the Alaskan Arctic, the impacts of energy development on wildlife in Greater Yellowstone, the threat of large carnivores on the conservation of endangered species such as Andean deer (huemul), the development of pronghorn antelope migration corridors, and saiga antelope conservation in Mongolia. Finalist for the 2014 and 2016 Indianapolis Prize.

P. Dee Boersma, Ph.D. (University of Washington; Center for Ecosystem Sentinels) — Conservationist dedicated to the study of global warming’s impact on penguins; successful in stopping both harvesting and the development of oil tanker lanes through penguin colonies.

Sylvia Earle, Ph.D. (Deep Ocean Exploration and Research; Mission Blue; SEAlliance) — Oceanographer, author and founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc., Mission Blue and SEAlliance. Focused on researching ocean ecosystems, developing new exploration technologies and creating a global network of marine protected areas. Led more than 100 expeditions and logged more than 7,000 hours underwater.

Rodney Jackson, Ph.D. (Snow Leopard Conservancy) —  Conducted first radio-tracking study of snow leopards in the 1980s; leader in engaging communities as co-equals in successful conservation strategies; collaborator in a range-wide genetic study that revealed the likelihood of three subspecies of snow leopards, contributed to their reclassification from endangered to vulnerable, and continues to create innovative conservation solutions across large portions of the species’ vast geographic range. Finalist for the 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2016 Indianapolis Prize.

Russell Mittermeier, Ph.D. (Global Wildlife Conservation) — Visionary leader able to motivate every level of conservation to support the greater good of many species, including saki and muriqui monkeys and other neotropical primates; one of the first academic primatologists to become concerned with the welfare and conservation of primates. Finalist for the 2012 and 2014 Indianapolis Prize.

Carl Safina, Ph.D. (The Safina Center) — Brought ocean conservation into the environmental mainstream by using science, art and literature to inspire a “sea ethic.” Established a sustainable seafood program, connecting science-based criteria with consumers; led efforts to ban high-seas drift nets and reform federal fisheries laws. Finalist for the 2010, 2014 and 2016 Indianapolis Prize.

At a time in which animals are going extinct at a rate not seen since the era of dinosaurs, a 2018 Atomik Research survey* finds that 9 in 10 Americans believe the government (federal and state) should do more to promote policies that protect endangered animals, and when give the definition of an animal conservationist, 83 percent of Americans say animal conservationists qualify as heroes.

“[The Indianapolis Prize] brings the most incredible people together to talk about their work and give us a message about where to go from here,” said Sigourney Weaver, actor and 2016 Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador, a title administered by the Indianapolis Prize to honor public figures who have been effective voices for wildlife conservation.

The 2018 Indianapolis Prize Jury, comprised of distinguished scientists and conservation leaders, will determine the Winner of the 2018 Indianapolis Prize, its $250,000 cash award and the Lilly Medal, an original work of art that signifies the Winner’s contributions to saving some of the world’s most threatened animals. Each of the five Finalists will receive $10,000.

The 2018 Indianapolis Prize Winner will be announced in late spring and formally honored at the Indianapolis Prize Gala presented by Cummins Inc. on Sept. 29, 2018 in Indianapolis.

“Winning the Indianapolis Prize gave my organizations a much bigger platform from which we could reach people with our conservation message,” said 2016 Prize Winner Dr. Carl Jones, chief scientist of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and scientific director the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. “The field of animal conservation is fortunate to have an award that recognizes and celebrates individuals who have dedicated their life’s work to understanding biodiversity and protecting the species on which entire ecosystems depend.”

The Indianapolis Prize was first awarded in 2006 to Dr. George Archibald, the co-founder of the International Crane Foundation. The 2008 Winner was George Schaller, Ph.D., known as one of the founding fathers of wildlife conservation, and both a senior conservationist for the Wildlife Conservation Society and vice president for Panthera. In 2010, Iain Douglas Hamilton, Ph.D., founder of Save the Elephants, received the Prize for his pioneering research in elephant social behavior and for leading the way in the fight against the poaching of African elephants. Steven Amstrup, Ph.D., chief scientist for Polar Bears International, received the 2012 Prize for his work promoting the cause of the world’s largest land carnivore. In 2014, Dr. Patricia C. Wright, founder of Centre ValBio, became the first woman awarded the Indianapolis Prize for her dedication to saving Madagascar’s famed lemurs from extinction. Last year, Dr. Carl Jones received the 2016 Indianapolis Prize for his species recovery success on the island of Mauritius, including the echo parakeet, pink pigeon and Mauritius kestrel.

The Indianapolis Prize recognizes and rewards conservationists who have achieved major victories in advancing the sustainability of an animal species or group of species. Winners receive the Lilly Medal and an unrestricted $250,000 award. Remaining Finalists each receive $10,000. The Indianapolis Prize has received support from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation since its inception.

Featured photo courtesy of Karen Czekalski.

logo 1Indianapolis Prize logo


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Making a Difference For Snow Leopards

Dec 12, 2017 12:47 pm

Ghulam's trail camera photo resized

Camera-trap photo: Ghulam Mohammad

“Helping this incredible endangered species and the people who share its environment – not one or the other, but both are equally important to Ghulam and me.”  - Shafqat Hussain

In our November newsletter, we introduced you to our partners in Pakistan, Ghulam Mohammad and Shafqat Hussain. Ghulam grew up in a small village high in the Karakorum Mountains. His life as a herdsman changed when his family moved to the town of Skardu. It was there that he began to fulfill his curiosity and passion for education, was eventually accepted into college, and after his father passed away with the help of his family was able to complete his education. 

Picture GM

“It has been an amazing journey for me, from nothing to everything.” – Ghulam Mohammad

As Ghulam says, he went from Baltistan’s meadows and pastures to Norway for a course on Environmental and Sustainable Development and then to heading an organization that has been awarded a United Nations Equator Prize.

Working with Shafqat through the Baltistan Wildlife Conservation and Development Organization, supported by the Snow Leopard Conservancy, Ghulam says, “I have tried to change the negative impact of snow leopards on people’s lives. Now I see this cat as a beautiful animal that is also beneficial to people…I traveled a long path to be where I am today, but my struggles were worth it.”


Ghulam recounts a particularly inspiring moment when he provided compensation funds to an elderly woman who had lost her entire herd to an attack by a snow leopard. ”I was so happy and satisfied to see the gratefulness in her eyes.” On the other hand, Ghulam says, “the greatest challenge we have is financial sustainability of insurance subsidies. In our experience, the financial cost of predation is very high.” Ghulam also remembers a child who participated in a speech competition. “He didn’t win a prize, but he worked hard the next year and won the 2nd prize for the speech competition. I was so inspired to see his motivation to learn about snow leopards.”

Please help us make our match and ensure that the Snow Leopard Conservancy can continue to support this vital work along with our other community-based programs aimed at helping indigenous people take the forefront in preserving their natural heritage.


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