- Local communities are the front line in preserving the biodiversity of Central Asia’s high mountains.
- The Conservancy advances community based stewardship of the snow leopard through education, research and grassroots conservation action
The Snow Leopard Conservancy believes that snow leopards are best protected through conservation efforts that grow from within communities living with the cats. These communities are the front line in preserving the biodiversity of Central Asia’s high mountains. We recognize and appreciate the unique opinions and ideas of each individual and each community, while they help us to determine the key factors threatening the cat, its prey and its habitat. We offer material support and planning assistance in exchange for a community’s agreement to assume the primary responsibility for protecting snow leopards and other wildlife.
We facilitate grassroots action to address the conflicts between snow leopards and the people who share their habitat. We help communities to better manage their livestock and protect it from snow leopards. Our approach is partly a local empowerment scheme, partly a blueprint for cooperatively building predator-proof corrals and partly a hands-on education program.
We work with local partners to provide needed technical assistance, grants and incentives for community-based activities, linked to specific stewardship and biodiversity conservation commitments, and designed to maximize community “ownership,” long-term self-reliance, and ecosystem health.
- Reduce livestock depredation by predator-proofing corrals, educating herders and improving animal husbandry practices
- Closely link snow leopard and biodiversity conservation with initiatives aimed at improving household incomes in environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable ways
- Increase environmental awareness and understanding of the fragile mountain ecosystem, through innovative, cost-effective outreach initiatives
- Conduct non-invasive baseline research on snow leopards, their prey and habitat, blending scientific information with local knowledge
Some Examples of our Collaborative Activities
- Predator-proofing traditional stone livestock pens;
- Education of herders on improved animal husbandry and guarding practices for avoiding or reducing depredation, including awards for exemplary herders;
- Livestock insurance programs;
- Development of eco-tourism opportunities, including trekking services, nature guiding, and traditional village homestays;
- School based, interactive conservation education;
- Protection of natural prey base (patrolling, creation of special wildlife areas, livestock-free blue sheep wintering areas, etc.);