Protecting Snow Leopards

by David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Protecting Snow Leopards
Protecting Snow Leopards
Protecting Snow Leopards
Protecting Snow Leopards
Protecting Snow Leopards
Protecting Snow Leopards
Protecting Snow Leopards
Protecting Snow Leopards
Wild Snow Leopard & Cubs Credit Snow Leopard Trust
Wild Snow Leopard & Cubs Credit Snow Leopard Trust

Thank you for supporting David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) Protecting Snow Leopards.

For 2022/2023 DSWF continues to fund ground-based conservation partners dedicated to snow leopard conservation in Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia. There are an estimated 200-400 snow Leopards in Kyrgyzstan and 800-1100 in Mongolia, and they are classified as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

Kyrgyzstan

In the next year funding will go towards a conservation education programme for children in Kyrgyzstan who share their habitat with snow leopards. The project has two core goals:

  • To empower children to become active participants in conservation of snow leopards and other wildlife/biodiversity through enhanced knowledge, values, skills, and opportunities for conservation action. This will be done through the development of educational materials and eco summer camps amongst other activities.
  • To equip teachers in remote mountain communities with the resources and support to integrate quality environmental education into the standard curriculum.

The education project will have a long-term conservation impact. In concert with other conservation programs, this project will make children feel more connected to nature and become “ambassadors” for snow leopard conservation within their local communities, which will help secure long-term viability of snow leopards and other threatened species in Kyrgyzstan.

Mongolia

DSWF continue a multi-pronged approach to snow leopard conservation in Mongolia which reduces threats to the snow leopard and its prey species. Funding in the 2022/2023 year will go towards the following areas:

  • Community-based income-generating projects designed to support both wildlife and local communities who coexist, including providing economic opportunities to at least 140 women and providing livestock insurance to local herders.
  • Ongoing management and patrolling of Tost Nature Reserve, a key Snow Leopard habitat.
  • Education to raise conservation awareness, including summer camps for local children.
  • Rigorous research to improve our understanding of snow leopards and their prey including through the collaring of Snow Leopards and Ibex, camera trapping and wildlife surveys.

The expected impact of which will allow 12,000 km2 of snow leopard habitat to be protected through conservation efforts and greater tolerance towards predators due to improved education, community engagement, and compensation, along with valuable research providing a greater understanding of threats to snow leopards.

Find out more about our work with snow leopards

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) would love to keep you up-to-date with how your generous support is making a difference, share exciting wildlife conservation stories and tell you about forthcoming campaigns, fundraising initiatives and events. Please let us know how you would like to hear from us via our online form: Stay In Touch

Students on Expedition, Credit Snow Leopard Trust
Students on Expedition, Credit Snow Leopard Trust
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Image Credit: Behzed Larry
Image Credit: Behzed Larry

Snow Leopard Conservation Update

Thank you for supporting David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation through GlobalGiving.

Over the past six-months, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) has continued to work alongside our ground-based conservation partners in Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan to protect snow leopards. DSWF funding aims to reduce the threats facing snow leopards and its prey species through engaging and empowering local communities who live contiguous to snow leopard habitats.

In Mongolia, DSWF have been supporting a long-term alternative livelihoods project with herder communities called Snow Leopard Enterprises (SLE). The project helps communities to develop handicraft products which it then guarantees to purchase and sell on behalf of the communities. The SLE initiative provides a source of sustainable income and discourages the exploitation of the surrounding environment. Over the past six months, 139 women from 23 SLE communities participated in the programme and received 20% bonuses on their sales as no poaching incidents were recorded. DSWF have also supported a livestock insurance scheme which now covers 12,000 animals and reimburses herders whose cattle have been killed by predatory species and therefore prevents retaliatory killings.

In Kyrgyzstan, DSWF have been working with our partners to ensure local communities are engaged, educated and can benefit from assisting in the protection of snow leopards. Over the last 6 months, DSWF funding has allowed our partners to establish relationships with schools, teachers, local communities and the local government. Three Conservation Education Learning Modules have now been developed and made available to download online and will be an essential resource for educators in Kyrgyzstan and other snow leopard range states.

Whilst some of the in-person education initiatives were put on hold due to Covid-19, DSWF funding allowed our partners to adapt and provide virtual sessions with children from 18 schools. A total of 398 students participated in these sessions which aimed to inspire and motivate the conservationists of tomorrow. 58 students also participated in eight overnight immersive eco-camps in Shamshy valley, the first in-person eco camps to have been held since 2019.

The Bigger Picture

Over the past 12 months, DSWF have continued our 37-year legacy of providing unwavering support to protect some of the world’s most endangered species. Over the course of 2022 we will continue to support our long-term conservation partners to protect wildlife, tackle wildlife crime and reduce poaching threats alongside engaging and supporting more community groups working to protect wildlife.

Thanks to your help, we have granted over £11 million in direct conservation support to turn the tide on extinction.

On behalf of everyone at DSWF and the wildlife we fight to protect, Thank You.

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Thank you for supporting David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation through GlobalGiving. As well as providing you with your bi-annual Snow leopard project report full of fantastic news and results of this project we would also like to inform you about an exciting campaign.

The Tost Nature Reserve in Mongolia covers over 7,000km2 and is the countries only protected area dedicated to snow leopard conservation. In 2016, and with the support of DSWF, the park became federally protected and its former mining and hunting concessions were withdrawn. Over the past 12 months, DSWF have continued supporting a snow leopard ecological study is the Tost Nature Reserve making it the longest snow leopard survey of all time. With DSWF support, our ground-based conservation partners are amassing the largest dataset of snow leopard photographs and conducted five camera trap surveys covering roughly 9,000km2. In addition, DSWF supported seven rangers to effectively conduct 7,452km of patrols in the new reserve.

One of the prime threats to snow leopards in Mongolia remains retaliatory killings by herders after cattle is killed. This year, DSWF supported the construction of a series of new corrals to keep around 2,000 cattle safe. Since their construction, zero livestock have been killed in the predator-proof corrals dramatically mitigating human-wildlife conflict. DSWF have also continued to support a long-term insurance scheme covering 12,000 livestock offering direct compensation and increased herder tolerance for predators.

Whilst Kyrgyzstan remains one of the world’s last remining strongholds for snow leopards, there is sadly a general disconnect with nature, especially among children. DSWF funding was planned to be used for in-person eco-camps and in-school nature clubs to reconnect children with nature, however this was not possible due to Covid-19. As such our ground-based conservation partners used our funding to develop a new remotely delivered conservation education program for children. This programme aimed to encourage positive values for nature and to equip children with knowledge as a basis for conservation action and continued learning. The team were able to reach over 300 children and their teachers from 18 rural schools.

How can you help this vital work continue?

This week GlobalGiving are hosting their annual Little by Little Camnpaign this means that all donations donated through GlobalGiving to David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation between Monday 13th and Friday 17th September will receive 50% match funding from GlobalGiving. So, if you donate £20 today, we receive £30 towards Snow Leopard conservation making your contribution work that little bit harder!

We are hugely grateful that you have chosen to support us to help turn the tide on extinction. Thank you.

Little by Little Campaign T’s and C’s

  • Campaign runs from Monday 13th to Friday 17th September.
  • Donations up to the amount of $50 / £36 will be match funded by 50%.
  • One donation per unique donor will be match funded.
  • New monthly donations set up this week will be 50% match funded and your 4th donation will be 100% matched!
  • All DSWF GlobalGiving Projects are eligable for match funding.
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Credit Behzad Larry
Credit Behzad Larry

Despite a surge in poaching across the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, members from a village who work with our ground-based conservation partner Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) in Mongolia, actively protected wildlife on their own lands. They foiled a poaching attempt, apprehended thee suspects, and handed them over to law enforcement. Local communities also implemented conservation programs even when SLT couldn’t visit them for months.

Local people living in snow leopard habitats can be the strongest allies for snow leopard conservation. Their critical role in species conservation has been underlined during the current pandemic. Household members, rangers, citizen scientists and field staff from communities living contiguous to wildlife remained on the frontline of snow leopard conservation this past year and through the lockdowns.

The resilience of these partnerships with communities, founded on years of trust and relationship-building, proved critical at this time of crisis.

In 2021 DSWF are providing funding for a SLT managed conservation education programme for children in Kyrgyzstan who share habitat with snow leopards. Childhood experiences are instrumental in creating appreciation and positive values for nature, and environmental ethics. Conservation education is one way to help build this interest in children, and, through them, build a constituency of citizens concerned about nature and wildlife. Children are the future environmental custodians and have the capacity to influence present pro-environmental behaviours within their households.

DSWF funding is also being used for a multi-pronged approach to snow leopard conservation in Mongolia that reduces threats to the snow leopard and its prey species. Programmes include community-based income-generating schemes designed to support both wildlife and local communities who share a common habitat, education to raise conservation awareness and rigorous research towards gaining a better understanding of snow leopard ecology.

To learn more about our work with Snow Leopards please visit our website.

Thank you for your support in helping us turn the tide on extinction. 

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Thank you for choosing to protect snow leopards in their natural habitat. You are helping our ground-based conservation partners across Asia adapt to the new challenges they are facing because of the pandemic.

HOW IS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IMPACTING SNOW LEOPARDS

The pandemic shifted, delayed, and cancelled much of our dedicated ground-based conservation partners, Snow Leopard Trust’s (SLT) 2020 plans. A large part of protecting these ‘ghosts of the mountains’ is working with communities to build conservation awareness. Covid-19 has made this a lot more challenging.

However, with your support, we have been able to adapt and continue to offer our education activities virtually. We have continued to help rangers, maintain wildlife surveys, reach out to children, and meet with community leaders and government—albeit on a different timeline and scale than originally anticipated.

Between March and September 2020, SLT monitored six snow leopards in Mongolia using GPS collars and retrieved four months of footage from 35 out of 36 trap cameras placed in Sarychat-Ertash Nature Reserve in Kyrgyzstan. 

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Organization Information

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Location: Guildford, Surrey - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @DSWFwildlife
Project Leader:
Theo Bromfield
Guildford, Surrey United Kingdom
$8,017 raised of $15,000 goal
 
197 donations
$6,983 to go
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