Leaders from all twelve countries where snow leopards live are meeting this August. Tell them to take strong action to #SaveSnowLeopards.
With snow leopard numbers declining at an alarming rate because of poaching, retaliatory killings and habitat loss, they need help urgently.
Leaders of the twelve snow leopard countries have already promised to protect at least 20 snow leopard landscapes by the year 2020. Now, they need to make it happen. They’ll meet this August in Kyrgyzstan – that’s our moment.
Please lend us your voice to urge the country leaders to take action to #SaveSnowLeopards
What we’re asking
To the leaders of the twelve countries,
I urge you to take strong action to protect the snow leopard. I request that your representatives pledge concrete action when they meet this August for the International Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Forum. Please:
- Ensure that the snow leopard landscapes are secured and protected with the involvement and support of local communities through long-term management plans implemented by all sectors of government and other stakeholders.
- Create and implement a joint strategy with all range countries to combat poaching and illegal trade of snow leopards.
- Support a range-wide, scientifically sound assessment of their remaining population to better inform conservation management.
- Ensure that all infrastructure development in mountain ecosystems is sustainable and does not threaten snow leopards or their habitats.
Threats to snow leopards
Poaching: Snow leopards have long been killed for their beautiful fur, but their bones and other body parts are also used in traditional Asian medicine. The illegal trade in snow leopard parts seems to be increasing.
Conflict with communities: Herders sometimes kill snow leopards in retaliation for attacking their livestock. And the decline in the snow leopard’s natural prey – due to hunting, competition from increasing livestock herds, and habitat loss – is forcing them to rely more on livestock for food and increasing the risk of retaliatory killings.
Habitat loss: Snow leopards need vast areas to thrive but expanding human and livestock populations are rapidly encroaching on their habitat. New roads, mines and other economic developments are also fragmenting their remaining range.
Changing climate: All these threats will be exacerbated by the impact of climate change on the fragile mountain environment - putting the future of snow leopards at even greater risk.
How we’re helping
We support projects all over central Asia to reduce conflict between snow leopards and people, boost rural development, and control the illegal wildlife trade. For example, we’ve helped build leopard-proof livestock pens; we’ve set up compensation schemes for farmers who lose livestock to snow leopards; and we’ve supported camera trapping and collaring to learn more about this elusive species. In 2015, we launched the global species action plan for snow leopards, to help secure a better future for this species.
This August is a critical opportunity to make sure that snow leopard habitats are protected. With your help, we can take a big step towards protecting them for the future.