Fencing protecting livestock from leopards.
Photograph by Steve Winter
Snow Leopards
June 2008
Save the Cats

Covering traditional stone corrals with chain-link fencing protects Himalayan herders' livestock from snow leopards. It also protects snow leopards from the herders themselves. Minimizing livestock losses cuts down on revenge killings of the big cats. Says Darla Hillard of the Snow Leopard Conservancy, which helps fund the predator-proofing, "Our basic approach is to turn the snow leopard from being seen as a pest into a valued asset, worth more alive than dead." The following groups work with Central Asian communities to help both the people who live there and the cats.

Snow Leopard Conservancy forms partnerships with in-country groups to foster stewardship of snow leopards and their habitat. Efforts include camera traps and tracking with GPS units as well as programs to benefit local people, such as himalayan-homestays.com. For more information, go to snowleopardconservancy.org.

Snow Leopard Trust offers an array of conservation programs in five different countries: livestock vaccinations in Pakistan, livestock insurance in India, ecotourism in Kyrgyzstan, and more. Crafts made by Mongolian herder families can be purchased from the trust's Snow Leopard Enterprises at snowleopard.org/shop.