Earth Day 2019 – Protect Our Species

Apr 22, 2019 1:18 pm

Snow Leopard - Steve Tracy

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is Protect Our Species. At present, we are experiencing an alarmingly increased rate of extinction of the planet’s species. This is being driven by human activity such as disruption and loss of habitat due to mining, logging, and the creation of dams, roads, and walls, increased use of pesticides, pollution of the air, land, and water, climate change, illegal trafficking and poaching for animals’ skin, fur, and bones, and nonsustainable agropastoral practices to name a few.  As stated on the Earth Day official website, “all living things have an intrinsic value, and each plays a unique role in the complex web of life. We must work together to protect endangered and threatened species.”

The Snow Leopard Conservancy works diligently with local communities to protect the Snow Leopard, a keystone species of the high Asian Mountain ecosystem. A major portion of the snow leopard’s habitat, the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region and the Tibetan Plateau are referred to as The Third Pole because this area’s ice fields contain the largest reserve of fresh water on the planet other than the North and South polar regions. It includes the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar and is the source of Asia’s 10 major river systems that provide water for drinking and irrigation to more than 1.3 billion people or about 20% of the world’s population.

The Conservancy’s main focus in the preservation of the snow leopard is mitigation of people-predator conflict. People and their livestock live within the snow leopard habitat. When the snow leopard preys upon livestock rather than native prey, herders sometimes resort to killing the snow leopard to alleviate the problem. In order to protect the snow leopard and change peoples’ attitudes so that it is seen as an asset rather than a threat, the Snow Leopard Conservancy works with herders to predator-proof their corrals, implement electronic light deterrents, and develop community-managed insurance programs. The Conservancy also promotes ecotourism initiatives such as Himalayan Homestays and snow leopard photography treks to reduce economic dependence on the raising of sheep and goats.

Please join with us today to protect the Snow Leopard.


Photos courtesy of Steve Tracy.

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Celebrating the Spirit of Snow Leopards with the Land of the Snow Leopard Network

Feb 10, 2019 9:37 pm

The Snow Leopard Conservancy facilitates a broad-reaching program, Land of the Snow Leopard Network (LOSL). On February 2, we held an event, Celebrating the Spirit of Snow Leopards.

Susan Janin & Rodney Jackson

Susan Janin & Rodney Jackson

Three of our LOSL members, Maria Azhunova, Alexander Khamaganov, and Rinchin Garmaev, traveled to San Francisco from the Southern Siberian Buryat Republic. Snow leopards are a totem animal and protector of the people who live in this region.

LOSL members Maria Azhunova, Alexander Khamaganov, and Rinchin Garmaev with Rodney Jackson.

LOSL members Maria Azhunova, Alexander Khamaganov, and Rinchin Garmaev with Rodney Jackson.

Our guest speakers presented a beautiful video about their work within the LOSL Network, and they described the importance of Indigenous Cultural Practitioners (Elders, Shamans, Sacred Site Guardians) in promoting conservation.

Norbu Lama

Norbu Lama

One such practitioner featured in the video is Norbu Lama. He successfully worked to gain official protected status for a sacred site in the Buryat Republic. Norbu, who is a beloved community leader, is present at births, marriages, funerals, and other milestones, and his teachings are respected and heeded. When he visits a school, the children pay attention to what he says about the need to protect snow leopards and to revive the ancient traditional practices that revere and conserve nature.

Rodney Jackson, Darla Hillard, Jak Wonderly, Bob Wilson, & Charleen Gavette

Rodney Jackson, Darla Hillard, Jak Wonderly, Bob Wilson, & Charleen Gavette

Guests at the event said how inspired and moved they were by the presentation. Thank you, Maria, Alexander, and Rinchin, for making the afternoon such a wonderful success!

Photographs of the event are courtesy of Kathy Gervais and Susan Janin. Featured photo courtesy of Peter Bolliger

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Snow Leopard Day Festival 2018 – Basha Valley Shigar, Pakistan

Feb 9, 2019 9:16 pm

In October of 2018, the Baltistan Wildlife Conservation and Development Organization (BWCDO) together with the Education, Forest, and Wildlife Departments, Iqra Fund, and the local communities and schools, organized and celebrated a special International Snow Leopard Day event in Basha Valley Shigar Baltistan.

Photo courtesy of the Pamir Times

Photo courtesy of the Pamir Times

Basha Valley is a remote area where the local people are dependent on farming and livestock for their livelihood. It’s also well known for hot springs, glaciers, and wildlife. However, the local communities were unaware of the significance of the valley’s natural resources. So, for the past 12 years, the BWCDO has partnered with the Snow Leopard Conservancy to create awareness and promote local community involvement in snow leopard conservation.

As part of the 2018 snow leopard event, 13 students participated in speech, poetry, and drawing competitions with entries focused on the challenges of snow leopard conservation.

Photo courtesy of the Pamir Times

Photo courtesy of the Pamir Times

BWCDO Chief Executive Officer, Ghulam Muhammad, explained that the BWCDO works with communities to “alleviate economic hardships” due to predation by the snow leopard on livestock. They have predator-proofed corrals and implemented insurance programs that provide reimbursement for livestock losses. He emphasized that education is imperative in order to both reduce poverty and resolve environmental issues.

Community member, Manzoor Hussain, commended the BWCDO’s works and said that because of their efforts, the local communities are gaining an understanding of the relationship between the health of the environment and the wildlife that inhabit it and look forward to continuing to work with the BWCDO.

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The History of Snow Leopard Day

Feb 8, 2019 9:19 pm

Photo by Jak Wonderly

Photo by Jak Wonderly

The snow leopard species faces the threat of extinction despite both its ecological importance and spiritual significance to indigenous communities. Recognizing it would take more than individual efforts to conserve snow leopards, at the first Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Forum held in October 2013, all 12 snow leopard range countries endorsed the Bishkek Declaration. They pledged their “commitment to present and future generations…to protect and recover snow leopard populations and their fragile habitats for all people to enjoy.” A year later and annually thereafter on October 23, International Snow Leopard Day has been held in order to commemorate the anniversary of the Bishkek Declaration and to create awareness about the snow leopard.

The Bishkek Declaration…

Featured photo courtesy of Jak Wonderly.

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Celebrating the Spirit of the Snow Leopard Event

Jan 14, 2019 11:24 pm

Please Join Us on

Saturday, February 2, 2019

1pm – 4 pm

at the

Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation Center

207 Skyline Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94132

Free Parking

Peter Bolliger snow leopard

Special Animal Guests

  • Bhutan, Ambassador Snow Leopard, from the Wild Cat Education & Conservation Fund
  • Freddy, Bactrian Therapy Camel, from Lyon Ranch

 Guest Speakers

  • Land of the Snow Leopard Network members from Buryatia, Russia, speaking about indigenous conservation practices that conserve snow leopards.


  • Nepalese appetizers from Little Nepal

Help Fund our Land of the Snow Leopard Program

Ticket Price – $75.00

Reserve Your Spot Today:

Please RSVP by  Friday, January 18, 2019


Featured photo courtesy of Peter Bolliger

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