Rebalancing the Snow Leopard Ecosystem in Eastern Eurasia

Image credit: Courtesy of Eric Kilby

Rebalancing the Snow Leopard Ecosystem in Eastern Eurasia

Organization Snow Leopard Conservancy
Category Nature Conservation

Our project categories represent one of three core solutions pathways to solving climate change. Energy Transition focuses on renewable energy access and energy efficiency. Nature Conservation includes wildlife habitat protection and ecosystem restoration, as well as Indigenous land rights. Regenerative Agriculture supports farmers, ranchers, and community agriculture.

Realm Eastern Eurasia

The Project Marketplace is organized by the major terrestrial realms divided into 14 biogeographical regions – N. America, Subarctic America, C. America, S. America, Afrotropics, Indomalaya, Australasia, Oceania, Antarctica, and the Palearctic realm, which coincides with Eurasia and is divided into Subarctic, Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern regions.

Status active

Seed indicates an early stage project that needs some level of support to develop into a larger funding proposal. Active indicates any project that needs core programmatic funding. Urgent indicates a short-term project initiated in response to a natural disaster or other impending risk.

Funding Level $$

$$ indicates a project with a funding need between $50,000-$250,000.

Timeframe Ongoing
Partner Wildlife Conservation Network

One Earth’s Project Marketplace funds on-the-ground climate solutions that are key to solving the climate crisis through three pillars of collective action — renewable energy, nature conservation, and regenerative agriculture.

This project will support the Snow Leopard Conservancy’s (SLC) pioneering work in community-based conservation across this threatened species’ range, employing innovative approaches to human-wildlife coexistence, empowering Indigenous People and reviving Traditional Knowledge with the Snow Leopards as a sacred totem species, and facilitating local mountain communities with sustainable, resilient and diversified livelihoods.

Image credit: Courtesy of Tulgazana Darikhuu

Enigmatic and elusive apex predators, snow leopards indicate the health and sustainability of Asia’s high mountain ecosystems. These vital biodiverse and bioculturally rich ecosystems offer invaluable natural resources, including freshwater for one-third of the world’s population living in South and East Asia. 

Agro-pastoralist communities also depend on this landscape and their livestock: however, human-wildlife conflict arises from snow leopards depredating upon herder’s valued livestock, often resulting in retaliatory killings of this majestic cat. SLC aims to prevent root causes of human-wildlife conflict and poaching, along with improving the wellbeing of both snow leopards and local people.  SLC has developed innovative techniques such as predator-proofing livestock corrals and the use of FoxLights© as an electronic deterrent.  

The project supports the development of artificially intelligent camera traps with the capability of identifying snow leopards, alerting herders, and activating automated mitigation techniques, including sound deterrents.

Working with local cultural associations in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and two regions of Russia, SLC facilitated the formation of the Land of the Snow Leopard Network (LOSL).  The LOSL Network is rooted in Indigenous understanding of the sacredness, cultural heritage, and ecological significance of the Snow Leopard. SLC seeks to ensure the voices of Indigenous communities are heard, for they serve as frontline protectors of the snow leopard and its ecosystem. 

Preservation of traditional cultural practices and transferring the rich knowledge to younger generations is central toward ensuring long-term ecosystem sustainability. LOSL now has over 100 members, comprised of shamans, sacred site guardians, educators, scientists, revered elders, and conservationists working together. LOSL’s leaders have implemented their own community-based conservation and education programs, using a holistic approach blending traditional and western science to mitigate human-wildlife conflict with snow leopards.

Image credit: Courtesy of Eric Ash 

Collaborating with range country organizations, SLC works closely with mountain communities using a highly participatory process to develop diversified and sustainable livelihoods, especially targeting women-led organizations and enterprises. The project will bring income-generating solutions that protect and incentivize the view of snow leopards as a valued biological asset. 

The connection between human health, animal health, and ecosystem health has never been more evident than with this pandemic, highlighting the importance of embracing a One Health component to mountain community resiliency to future pandemics and the effects of climate change.

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Your contribution will help ensure the long term success of this important project. Gifts can be made as a tribute to a friend or family member and are tax-deductible for U.S. residents. Please contact us!