Snow leopard

    The snow leopard is one of the world's most mythical and secretive predators and has existed in the mountains of Central Asia for thousands of years. Today only a few thousand individuals remain, and to save the snow leopard one is needed extensive and long-term conservation work. The Snow Leopard Trust is an organization that works with the conservation of snow leopards on several fronts - and the Kolmården Foundation has been supporting since 2008 the extensive work going on in Mongolia.

    Threatened because their prey is killed

    At least one snow leopard a day is killed by illegal shooters, but there is likely a dark figure of more cases that go unreported. The snow leopard's skeleton is sold for expensive money on the black market in Asia, as it is believed to have a medicinal effect.

    The snow leopard's natural prey is also decreasing in number, making it difficult for it to obtain food. This leads to it instead looking for the domestic animals of the local population and can then be shot by animal owners who want to protect their animals.

    Equipping snow leopards with GPS collars

    Since 2008, the Kolmården Foundation has contributed to studies in Mongolia, where they tag snow leopards with GPS collars to learn more about birth intervals, cub survival, mortality among adult snow leopards, the number of snow leopards in the area and their location. Since the start, 34 snow leopards have received necklaces.

    They also use cameras that are set up in the terrain along the snow leopard's paths. Automatic pictures are taken of the snow leopards and you can use their unique spotted patterns to identify them and get a picture of which individuals live in the area.

    A nature reserve has been established

    Through the demonstration of data from the project, the local population has been supported to enforce the creation of a nature reserve in the Tost-Tosonbumba area. The nature reserve was approved in 2016 and is the first reserve in Mongolia dedicated to snow leopards. About 100 shepherd families can now continue their traditional lifestyle without the risk of being disturbed by major landscape-changing activities such as mining.

    Other efforts

    The Snow Leopard Trust also carries out the following activities within the framework of the project:

    • Support is given to the construction of predator-proof fences around the domestic cattle's night pens.<
    • Shepherds have received education/training to become park rangers.
    • Schools are offered eco-camps in the summers with activities and education.
    • Supports Snow Leopard Enterprises - a craft program for women.
    • Supports an insurance program where compensation is obtained for lost domestic animals.

    In addition to this project, the Snow Leopard Trust does the following:

    • Vaccination program of domestic animals and training in animal husbandry.
    • Further trains park rangers in law enforcement.
    • Raises awareness of members of the local population and their fight against poachers through an annual ceremony where awards and financial compensation are given.