Foxlights – the predator deterrent tool that’s changing local attitudes and saving snow leopards in the mountains of Mongolia

Foxlight Installation – Mongolia – Claudio Augugliaro/Wildlife Initiative

In a January 2021 SLC News Post, Studying People-Predator Interactions & Testing Foxlights in Mongolia, we introduced a series of ongoing studies begun in 2017 by our partner, ecologist Claudio Augugliaro and his organization Wildlife Initiative (formerly NGO Green Initiative). The project is assessing conflict between herders and predators such as snow leopards and wolves in the western provinces of Mongolia.

Beginning in 2018, with the support and participation of local herders, Claudio and his team installed Foxlights for the first time in the Altai Mountains in the Bayan Olgii province. These solar-powered flashing lights are used to deter predators from approaching and attacking livestock at night.


Following the phase of the project conducted from September 2020 to December 2021, which assessed predator attacks made by a variety of species on both small and large-sized livestock, Claudio engaged herders with a workshop in April 2022. It was attended by more than 70 livestock owners who agreed that Foxlights were an important tool for preventing predation. (SLC News, August 2022).

Livestock owner workshop – Mongolia – Claudio Augugliaro/Wildlife Initiative

A second study was begun in 2022 in the Sutai Mountain region, south of the previous project activity. One year later, in April 2023, they interviewed 60 herders and conducted another workshop, which was attended by 20 representatives from across the area. The overall assessment showed that depredation by snow leopards had dropped a remarkable 61% and attitudes, while still basically negative or indifferent, had improved by 37%. 

The next step is to determine the degree to which decreased depredation of livestock can be attributed to mitigation measures such as Foxlights usage as compared to other potential variables. Looking ahead to the 2023 project year, the team believes their constant presence is crucial for a continued reduction in human – carnivore conflict and improvement of herders’ attitudes.

Trail Cameras – a noninvasive monitoring device that’s proving to be an effective tool when developing strategies to deter predators 

As part of both the Altai and Sutai project components, Claudio and his Wildlife Initiative team installed trail cameras to monitor the population size, density, and distribution of resident snow leopards and Pallas’s cats within grazing areas, essential information needed for the development of depredation prevention strategies. In addition, they monitored activity patterns as well as the use of migratory corridors to identify areas seasonally occupied by snow leopards.

Trail Camera – Mongolia – Claudio Augugliaro/Wildlife Initiative

Photos & Video Courtesy of Claudio Augugliaro/Wildlife Initiative/SLC