A New Year filled with New Hope

We asked some of our team members to share what gives them hope for the future of snow leopards. As is often the case, it was difficult to pin them down since so many are out in the field at any given time. But a few found time to let us know what motivates and energizes them every day. Not surprisingly, a lot of that inspiration comes from YOU and our incredible community partners living in snow leopard landscapes.

“There are so many reasons to have hope for snow leopards. But I’m particularly inspired by the story of a herder in Mongolia named Ganaa. He was with us late one night when we collared a female snow leopard. We asked if he’d like to choose an official name for her and he chose to name her after his only daughter, Khashaa, which means Jade in Mongolian. What’s amazing is that the incredible connection between Ganaa, his family and this rare cat didn’t end there. Not long after we collared Khashaa, we found a small monetary offering under a stone near the collaring site. The experience meant so much to Ganaa.  He rode all around on his motorcycle, updating herders about ‘his’ cat. It really touched me and gave me hope for these cats. – Jennifer Snell Rullman – Senior Philanthropy Manager

“When I traveled to Kyrgyzstan in October, I met with women in the Ak-Shiyrak village Snow Leopard Enterprise program. I had the wonderful opportunity to present an award to a woman named Turum for her long-standing participation in the SLE program. Turum, age 84, has been crafting SLE wool goods since 2004. Although we did not speak the same language, the emotion in her eyes was apparent. She was excited and honored by the award. Turum continues to create handicrafts for the sense of community it brings and because she is passionate about protecting the snow leopard-inhabited mountain range she calls home.

I am so inspired by Turum’s dedication and her huge heart. I have hope for snow leopards because I know there are so many committed people like Turum among our partner communities living in snow leopard habitats who care deeply about the future of this endangered species.” – Liz Daniel – Grants Manager


“I have hope for snow leopards because wonderful people like yourselves represent its constituency.” – Koustubh Sharma, Ph.D. – Assistant Director of Conservation Policy and Partnerships





“I have hope for snow leopards because I believe that local people who share their habitat want to conserve them.”  – Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Ph.D.Director – India Program




“I have hope for snow leopards because of  the passionate people working tirelessly to protect them, and because of the partnerships forged with communities to protect not only snow leopards, but their local environments as well.”  – Maggie Marovich – Donor Relations Manager





“All the good and very enthusiastic people involved in snow leopard conservation give me hope for the future.” – Gustaf Samelius, Ph.D. – Assistant Director of Science





“I have hope for snow leopards because of the talented and compassionate SLT team and our committed partners and donors around the globe!” – Shelly Watts – Director of Philanthropy





“Seeing diverse communities from all over the world come together with a shared purpose gives me hope for the future of snow leopards.” – Maddison Rosenberg – Grant Writer 




“I have hope for the future of snow leopards. One may think the snow leopard just represents one species that needs our attention – or even that having hope for one species is insufficient when so much needs to be done. However, the snow leopard has a remarkable ability – it has the capacity to inspire emotions and a feeling of urgency about all conservation.” – Justine Shanti Alexander, Ph.D. – Senior Conservation Scientist


“People like Dolma, Choldon and YOU give me hope for the future of snow leopards. Communities like Dolma’s used to live in fear, losing prized livestock to hungry snow leopards. Yet today, they are the snow leopard’s greatest protectors. Such can be the transformative power when local and indigenous communities are allowed and empowered to lead conservation efforts. You give me hope because of your compassion for snow leopards and the diversity of life they represent, and for your commitment to supporting ethical, community-led conservation efforts, ” – Charu Mishra, Ph.D. – Executive Director 

We’d love to know what you think. Tell us what gives you hope for snow leopards in the comments below.


  1. We are “Lovers” — who have your love — and your dedication — to thank — for the protection of a “Loner” whose existence (“pussy-cat” of the great cats,) in a distant, harsh environment — evokes awe, envy and love. The “brilliance” of Crows, the “Spirit” of the Horse, the perseverance of “the Ghost of the mountains, all of them, (and every Eucalyptus tree, every wild-flower, — ad infinitum) — are sacred —
    but we, ( our infantile and manipulative species ) need warriors like you — to preserve the sacred. We are grateful.

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