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Kyrgyzstan/Mongolia: Snow leopard survival

The snow leopard, which roams the high mountains of Central Asia, is an elusive cat--but perhaps not elusive enough. Its shyness and solitary habits have not enabled it to escape from poachers. Illegal hunting and habitat loss, among other threats, have pushed the snow leopard to the brink of extinction.

To people who already live close to the edge of survival, the snow leopard is a predator that can spell the difference between economic hardship and economic ruin. The offending cats are often trapped or poisoned.

The Snow Leopard Trust (ISLT)ís conservation programs are designed to alleviate these conflicts between humans and snow leopards, and seek to guarantee the survival of the snow leopards while improving the lives of local people where the cat lives.

ISLT increases the income of local people through handicraft production (mostly made with sheep and camel wool and felt) in return for the protection of snow leopards and their prey.

Eco-Sys Action works with ISLT so far by purchasing handicraft and financing eco-camps for children where they will learn about their environment and especially about snow leopardís eco-system. Wider school projects are under study as well as cataract eye operation for people in need.

Eco-Sys Action also set up an itinerant exhibit on snow leopardís challenges under a yurt purchased in Mongolia. Visitors can both understand the snow leopardís plea as well as discover photos showing the beauty of Central Asia through kidsí eyes.

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