Snow leopards scale the great, steep slopes of mountains in Central Asia with ease, blending into the landscape. But these endangered cats face many threats including habitat loss, reduced prey and retaliatory killings. WWF works to reduce human-leopard conflict and protect the fragile snow leopard habitat.
In the 19 years Tenzin has been working in conservation, Wangchuck Centennial National Park's first ever population survey of snow leopards has been the most challenging project, but also the most satisfying.
In herding communities in the Nepalese mountains, snow leopards were not considered beautiful creatures that needed protecting. To these communities, they were a direct threat that needed to be eliminated. Thankfully, after working together with conservationists and WWF-Nepal to find a solution to these problems, the communities have taken on ownership of the efforts to protect snow leopards.
Three years ago, researchers from WWF-Mongolia set up camera traps to photograph snow leopards in and around Khovd Aimag’s Jargalant Khairkhan Mountain, located in western Mongolia’s Altai Mountains, to determine the elusive cat’s population size and distribution.
Just beyond the remote mountain village of Yangma in the high Himalayas of eastern Nepal, Nepali conservationists fitted a female snow leopard with a GPS collar. The collar will allow scientists to track this snow leopard’s movements daily for the next year, which will help us learn more about these mysterious and endangered cats. This female becomes the third snow leopard collared near Yangma since 2013, the first two having both been males.
Over 40 representatives from nine of 12 snow leopard range countries gathered in Kathmandu, Nepal, in April 2016 for a workshop on climate smart conservation planning at the landscape level to protect the iconic snow leopard and its habitat.
Urgent international action must be taken in the face of climate change to save the snow leopard and conserve its fragile mountain habitats that provide water to hundreds of millions of people across Asia.
Overlapping heavily with snow leopard habitat, the Third Pole encompasses the snow-covered mountains surrounding the Tibetan Plateau. The Pole’s thousands of glaciers and regular snow melt form the headwaters for 10 of Asia’s biggest rivers, which bring drinking water, power and irrigation directly to 210 million people, while these river basins indirectly support more than 1.3 billion people.
To increase chances of conservation success, we must understand traits that make an individual species especially resilient or vulnerable to changes in climate. Different species will be affected in different ways; sometimes negatively, but not always.
WWF has found a way to protect the snow leopard while also benefiting nomadic herders. As part of the USAID-funded Conservation and Adaptation in Asia’s High Mountain Landscapes and Communities (AHM) project, local herders like Byambatsooj are now being trained and equipped to collect basic data on the remote mountains they know better than anyone else.
After an ongoing project tracking elusive snow leopards in a remote area of northeastern Nepal, a government-led project team that included WWF succeeded in fitting a satellite-GPS collar on one of nature’s most elusive big cats on November 25.
Government representatives from the 12 Asian countries where snow leopards roam endorsed an ambitious new plan at the meeting today—a plan to protect and conserve snow leopards and their high mountain range habitat.
Now available for free in the iTunes App Store, ‘WWF Together’ is a unique interactive experience that brings you closer to the stories of elephants, whales, rhinos and other fascinating species. Discover the animal’s lives and the work of WWF in a way you’ve never seen before. Try out “tiger vision,” stay as still as the polar bear during a hunt, and chop the panda’s bamboo.
For the endangered animals of our planet—like the rare and regal snow leopard—climate change means much more than hotter days and intensified storms. These creatures face the prospect of a significant transformation of the habitats that sustain them.
In the shadow of the world’s third highest mountain, people and snow leopards are learning to coexist. In the Buddhist faith, there is a strong belief that the snow leopard is god’s pet, but local communities in Kanchenjunga, Nepal often see the endangered species as a deadly threat.
Species like red pandas, Bengal tigers, blue sheep, Argali wild sheep, and ibex are found in Asia high mountains. Learn more about the Asia high mountains and the work that WWF is doing to protect them.