Wonderful news from the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and their ongoing efforts to protect the endangered snow leopards in their remote habitats........These beautiful and elusive big cats need all the protection they can get and I am thrilled always to read about positive progress in the fight to save these truly magnificent animals from extinction.
March and April have been good months for the snow leopards that we help to protect. In Mongolia the Parliament recently approved the proposal to turn the Tost Mountains into a Nature Reserve.
The Tost Mountains, in Mongolia's South Gobi, are home to the DSWF supported long-term study and a stable population of snow leopards. Over the years, the team has watched many generations of cats grow up, disperse and start new families in these mountains. DSWF funding has supported research and conservation, advocacy and raising national awareness. Now, over five years in the making, this recent decision is a major victory for the local community and for snow leopards. As a National Reserve, Tost will be off limits to harmful development, but open for sustainable grazing by indigenous herders.
The good news continues in Kyrgyzstan where DSWF support has helped pilot a new conservation programme; turning a hunting concession, where ibex were commercially hunted, into a nature reserve. Kyrgyzstan ranks fifth in the world for snow leopard population and fourth in terms of habitat so protecting this area is key to snow leopard survival. DSWF will support key improvements and upgrades to the infrastructure of the reserve along with support for rangers and essential equipment like camera traps for research.