Mountains Stories

  • More than 70% of snow leopard habitat remains unexplored

    May 17, 2021

    Snow leopards live in some of the most rugged landscapes in Asia’s high mountains, which makes it incredibly difficult to study these rare and elusive big cats. A large majority of snow leopard habitat remains under-researched, according to the first-ever systematic review of snow leopard research conducted to date.

    A snow leopard lying down in the snow looks directly at the camera
  • Exciting new survey shows stable snow leopard population in Mongolia

    March 17, 2021

    Mongolia’s first-ever national snow leopard survey shows that the country’s population of this elusive, big cat is stable. The survey confirmed the presence of approximately 953 snow leopards—an exciting discovery because it indicates that current conservation efforts are effective and will help develop future strategies to protect this charismatic big cat.

    A snow leopard stalks along a mountain pass in Mongolia
  • Small-scale dairy manufacturing provides local livelihood opportunities in western Mongolia

    February 02, 2021

    Dairy is a staple in the diets of Mongolian people but until recently, the sale of milk products was not a prominent source of income for local herders. As it turns out, diversifying community livelihood options in this village in the Bayan-ulgii province has also led to increased protections for snow leopards in the area. A win for people, and a win for nature.

    An adult yak stands with two baby yaks staring at the camera with a mountain range in the background
  • A sign of a balancing ecosystem, the Himalayan lynx returns to its ancestral home

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2021
    As the markhor, a key food source for the lynx, has returned, so has the lynx, and its reappearance is being celebrated as a sign that the ecosystem’s natural balance is on the mend.
    Lynx walking on rocky ground
  • What are nature-based solutions and how can they help us address the climate crisis?

    November 10, 2020

    Tackling the climate crisis will be one of the biggest challenges of our time, and nature itself can contribute to the fight. 

    Stormy sunrise over the Badlands
  • A landmark snow leopard collaring in Nepal

    May 21, 2020

    Elusive and solitary nature, snow leopards are rarely spotted and even less frequently studied within their rugged and harsh habitat. However last November, two snow leopards were captured, fitted with satellite-GPS collars, and successfully released back into their rocky homeland in Western Nepal. The two male snow leopards were the first since the 1980s to be fitted with collars within Shey Phoksundo National Park in Western Nepal.

    Collared snow leopard on rocky terrain in high mountains of Western Nepal
  • A new protected area (PA) for tigers and leopards in Russia

    December 09, 2019

    More than 200,000 acres of a transboundary territory for tigers, leopards, and other species have been established in the Russian Far East as a new protected area.

    tiger in Komissarovsky Wildlife Refuge
  • Emerging technology helps WWF monitor snow leopards

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2019
    The population of snow leopards in Russia has remained stable for the past three years, according to a recent WWF survey. This may not seem groundbreaking, but it is, in fact, excellent news.
    Snow leopard
  • Capturing a rare moment with a hummingbird in the Andes

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2018
    Hummingbirds—with their gorgeous feathers, cool beak and tail shapes, and the ability to fly backward and upside down—are one of my favorite bird groups.
    hummingbird winter2018
  • New survey finds stable snow leopard population in Russia

    October 04, 2018

    Last winter, a WWF census found a total of 61 snow leopards in Russia’s Altai-Sayan Ecoregion, a remote landscape where high, snowy mountain ranges offer a last refuge for this rare feline. Snow leopard numbers have been relatively steady in Russia since WWF and partners first began monitoring them three years ago. But with fewer than 7,000 estimated to live in the wild, they remain endangered.

    snow leopard camera trap
  • Fast Forward: Protecting snow leopards and adapting to climate change in Asia's High Mountains

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    Our “At the Top of the World” feature introduced a rural herding community in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan as they worked to protect snow leopards and adapt to climate change. Here's where we are now.
    Mountains in Kyrgyzstan
  • New weather stations support climate and water research in Bhutan

    January 18, 2018

    Researchers have set up four weather stations in a preserve in the mountains of north Bhutan for the first time, allowing them to monitor conditions at various altitudes over the long-term. Data collected by these stations will help determine the best ways to help wildlife in the region adapt to climate change.

    High mountains in Bhutan
  • A nature guide illuminates one of the world's greatest bastions of the wild: Montana

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2017
    Glacier is one of the last pristine wilderness areas left in the lower 48 states. Its rugged peaks, forested valleys, and alpine meadows offer refuge to a diversity of unique flora and fauna.
    Grizzly
  • Changing people and landscapes: Farida's story

    May 24, 2017

    In Kyrgyzstan, community based conservation activities led by Farida Balbakova have paved the way for an integrated, climate-smart landscape management plan to protect the snow leopard.

    Farida Balbakova
  • Nepal successfully collars four snow leopards in four years

    May 17, 2017

    A snow leopard was successfully collared in Kangchenjunga Conservation Area on May 8, 2017 making it the fourth one to be collared in Nepal’s eastern snow leopard conservation complex.

    Collared snow leopard, Yalung.
  • Laying the groundwork for snow leopard conservation in Sikkim

    February 21, 2017

    Phuchung Lachenpa and his team are using local knowledge to set up camera traps throughout their region, laying groundwork for improving snow leopard conservation efforts. 

    Two snow leopards caught on a camera trap
  • Adapting to new challenges in the Tian Shan Mountains

    January 06, 2017

    The animals of the Central Tian Shan mountain range find protection from unlikely guardians: the residents of nearby mountain communities. 

    A landscape image with a man in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan
  • Snow leopard research provides new challenges to an old hand

    October 20, 2016

    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. 

    Ranger Tenzin
  • Where do snow leopards live? And nine other snow leopard facts

    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.

    Snow Leopard
  • How humans and snow leopards can live in harmony

    August 30, 2016

    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.

    Snow Leopard
  • Children help secure a future for snow leopards in Mongolia

    August 11, 2016

    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.

    Student leaders pose in front of sculpture
  • After devastating earthquake, Nepal aims to reduce the risk of disaster through green rebuilding

    April 25, 2016

    Last April, Nepal experienced a devastating earthquake, resulting in a tragic loss of life and damage. But the people of this small and beautiful country are pushing forward with remarkable resilience. They’ve also taken care to consider the environment during the rebuilding period.

    landslide in Nepal
  • What animals live in the Asia high mountains? And eight other Asia high mountains facts

    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.

    A horseback rider rides through the mountains
  • Climate change could push snow leopards over the edge

    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.

    snow leopard crouching