The Snow Leopard is an elusive big cat. For a start, they aren’t easy to spot, given they blend in well with their surroundings. They are called the “mountain ghosts” by locals.
They live in Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Tjiskistan, Russia and Uzbekistan so they have quite a range covering 2 million square kilometres, half of which are in China.
Snow Leopard conservation charities will be working closely with local communities to help local people co-exist with these magnificent big cats, and also to help them with ways to improve their living standards. This will help reduce the need for poaching and also reduce reliance on livestock.
The 23rd October is International Snow Leopard Day!
11 ways to help snow leopards.
1. Visit the websites of those conservation charities focusing on Snow Leopards and their projects, such as the Snow Leopard Trust and the Snow Leopard Conservancy, and the WCS. Spend some time finding out about them – their mission, how they are achieving it and what help they need to achieve it. Work out ways in which you can help them do this by taking a look at their pages such as Getting Involved/Get Involved.
2. Understand the threats facing snow leopards – poaching, mining, climate change. Tell people that snow leopards are under threat. It’s estimated that there are no more than 6,390 snow leopards living in the wild – and there may be as few as 3,920.
3. Take a look at snow leopard videos on You Tube or on the Snow Leopard Trust’s website and lose yourself in the beauty of their world and the challenges facing local people living in the same area as snow leopards. Share videos you particularly enjoy so that you can show how amazing these animals are.
4. Take action and sign the Snow Leopard Trust's petition to the Environment Ministers of the 12 countries which make up the snow leopard's range. It asks them to strengthen conservation efforts and minimize disease transmission between wildlife and people.
5. Adopt a snow leopard! The Snow Leopard Trust has e-adoptions so wherever you are in the world, you can adopt a snow leopard! This makes for a great gift for big cat lovers – your gift really is making a difference.
6. Find out about the Snow Leopard Network, a worldwide organization which facilitates the exchange of information and insights between individuals around the world with the aim of snow leopard conservation.
7. Buy products from snow leopard conservation charities’ online shops. Spread the snow leopard wonder! Take a look at the Snow Leopard Conservancy. You could also support Snow Leopard Enterprises. The idea is that herder women living in snow leopard habitat produce unique handicrafts, made with the natural resources they have. Snow Leopard Enterprises buys them and sells them online to snow leopard supporters worldwide! Families taking part can boost their income by up to 40% - and they pledge to keep snow leopards in their area safe.
9. Panthera works in seven countries across Asia. Their scientists are conducting surveys on snow leopards and prey populations. They are training national biologists in conservation methods, assessing threats and securing habitat. They also mitigate human-wildlife conflict, working with local communities and help governments establish National Snow Leopard Action Plans.