The Snow Leopard
With only approximately 3,500 to 7,000 snow leopards remaining in their natural habitat, they are an important part of a wild and healthy ecosystem. Their presence is not only valuable for ecosystem preservation but also ecotourism which can greatly help impoverished mountain communities.
The snow leopard’s plight is similar to that of so many other threatened species on earth. It is imperative that we recognize the important role each of us plays in preserving and maintaining the health and biodiversity of this planet.
The snow leopard is one of the rarest and most elusive big cat species and inhabits some of the world's harshest and most desolate landscapes. Found in arid environments and at elevations sometimes reaching 18,000 feet the species faces great threats despite its extreme habitat. These threats vary across its range, but in all countries where it is found — Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and possibly Myanmar — the species is at risk.
In countries such as China, Russia, and Mongolia snow leopards are illegally hunted for their pelts, bones, and organs, due to the high demand for fur coats and traditional Asian medicine.
In countries such as Pakistan and India, they are endangered by the depletion and scarcity of prey, loss of habitat, and killing as a predator of livestock. The activities of humans threaten the survival of snow leopards, making people key to their protection and conservation. As villagers with growing domestic herds have moved into snow leopard habitat, their native prey has been pushed out. In turn, the hungry snow leopards turn to their flocks of sheep and goats as a source of food. Crucial to the villager’s survival, the shepherds feel they have little choice but to resort to retaliatory killing of the snow leopard to prevent further losses of their domestic livestock.
There are numerous agencies working to conserve the snow leopard and its threatened mountain ecosystems such as the Snow Leopard Trust, the Snow Leopard Conservancy and the Snow Leopard Network. Along with national governments from the snow leopard's range, non-profits and donors from around the world, these groups:
- Partner with local people to develop programs that protect snow leopards and help communities prosper
- Conduct research to better understand the cats and define threats to their survival
- Connect a network of professionals by linking hands across borders to ensure a future for snow leopards in the wild
- Educate the world about the plight of the snow leopard and the importance of endangered species conservation
Although half a world away there are also ways you can help:
- Volunteer - Whether your skills lie in event participation, administration, graphic design or science, your help is needed! Email The Snow Leopard Trust.
- Shop online – 1. GoodSearch.com is a search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. 2. GoodShop.com is an online shopping mall which donates up to 37 percent of each purchase to your favorite cause! Be sure to enter Snow Leopard Trust as the charity you wish to support. And then spread the word!
- Artwork - Whether you draw, paint, sculpt, bead or take photographs, The Snow Leopard Trust is interested in partnering with you through their Artists in Conservation Program to raise awareness for snow leopards. Contact Gina Robertson, for more information.
- Classroom Projects - Are you a teacher or a student? Visit www.snowleopard.org/catfactsclassroom to see what other teachers and students are doing to spread awareness.
- Write and article or a blog - Enjoy writing? Write an article about the Snow Leopard Trust and send it to your local paper or link a post to our blog- www.blog.snowleopard.org.
About The Snow Leopard Trust
The Snow Leopard Trust's mission is to conserve the snow leopard and its mountain ecosystem through a balanced approach that addresses the needs of local people and the environment. The Trust takes a practical approach to snow leopard conservation with the understanding that they cannot protect the species without the direct involvement of the people who share its habitat. With that in mind, the Snow Leopard Trust combines scientific research, education, and direct conservation. We feel confident that our donation to The Snow Leopard Trust will positively contribute to the fight for a thriving, healthy snow leopard population.
Snow Leopard Trust Donations To Date $1568.93
Total Letters For A Cause Donations $4474.54
Raise further awareness by adding an embroidery phrase to your clothing
- Snow Leopard Conservation
- Protect the Snow Leopard
- Save Wild Cats
- Save a Species
- Letters For A Cause
Click Here to learn more about The Snow Leopard Trust