A letter of gratitude from Snow Leopard Trust

A snow leopard attacked livestock over several nights in a remote community in the Himalaya, endangering its own life, causing fear and anger amongst people, and damaging their livelihood. Within weeks, the community members, their livestock, and the snow leopard, were safe as our field team helped the local community build seven predator-proof corrals under challenging conditions amidst a lockdown.

In the wake of the turmoil caused by COVID-19, conservationists around the world feared a spurt in hunting and illegal wildlife trade. In the middle of the global pandemic, our partner community foiled poaching attempts on their land, apprehended the suspects, and handed them over to law enforcement.

Our field team working with a local community to construct predator-proof corrals © Snow Leopard Trust & Nature Conservation Foundation
Technology has enabled us to remain connected to our supporters, field teams, and partner community members in remote areas, © Snow Leopard Trust & Snow Leopard Foundation Kyrgyzstan

Dear Friends,

Your long-term investments are paying off. Even though travels and budgets were curtailed in 2020, our field teams and community partners across the range demonstrated how empowered they feel to take conservation action. The instances listed above are just two of numerous examples this year that showed the effectiveness and resilience of the Snow Leopard Trust family.

During this year of tragedy, lockdowns, and economic downturn, you continued to support snow leopards and keep this conservation community strong. More than 500 of you from 33 countries tested your endurance when I ran 100-miles over 24 hours to raise awareness for snow leopards. Nearly 1000 of you joined us virtually for our 24-hour global event celebrating snow leopards. Speaking of endurance, many of you stayed on for the entire 24 hours, raising critical support for snow leopards!  

2020 wasn’t an easy year for anyone. We lost a village elder from a partner community to COVID-19. I had known him for 25 years. Some of our field staff were affected too, but all have recovered and are safe. Some of our objectives for the year couldn’t be met.  We also had to put our plans to progress GPS collaring research temporarily on hold.

But aside from these setbacks, much work did take place, and our teams even initiated new conservation programs in 2020. Here are some examples: 

  • A student from our conservation education program conducted through WhatsApp being felicitated, © Snow Leopard Trust & Snow Leopard Foundation in Kyrgyzstan

    Our teams signed and initiated conservation partnerships with four new communities in the Himalayas and the Karakoram.

  • With our team’s support, our partners in the provincial government established a new protected area office with its team of rangers for Tost Nature Reserve, Mongolia.
  • Our team created new agreements to convert two former hunting concessions into sanctuaries in the Kyrgyz Tien Shan.
  • We conducted camera trapping of snow leopard populations in multiple countries and mountain ranges.
  • Our teams delivered remote ‘nature in our backyard’ education programs to children living in snow leopard habitats.
  • Over 200,000 livestock were vaccinated against diseases as part of our snow leopard friendly livestock vaccination program.
  • Our team published a new newsletter for community champions and distributed it to build conservation awareness and connection during the pandemic.
  • In our contribution to scientific knowledge and conservation capacity, our team published an impressive 18 papers this year in international science journals, completed three policy documents, and delivered training programs to more than 100 conservationists around the world using online platforms. 
Livestock vaccinations could be conducted despite the pandemic, helping to secure livelihoods of local community members at a difficult time, © Snow Leopard Trust & Snow Leopard Foundation

And the list goes on.

This year tested us as an organization, but thanks to you, protection for snow leopards never wavered. Our staff and partner network showed remarkable resilience, adaptation, and innovation. It’s a privilege for me to work with this exceptional group of conservationists, and to have your support. 

As we close the year, I wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please stay safe and healthy. I wish you a peaceful and joyful holiday season and look forward to 2021, as the Snow Leopard Trust enters its 40th year of incorporation.


Charu Mishra
Executive Director, Snow Leopard Trust


Training of health workers drawn from local communities for vaccination and livestock healthcare as part of our snow leopard friendly livestock vaccination program, © Snow Leopard Trust & Snow Leopard Foundation



  1. What a refreshing abundance of good news in this letter when we’ve all grown accustomed to bad news. Thank you SLT, et al, for adapting & continuing to find ways to achieve the high level of success you always maintain.

    Here’s to a healthy & happy, peaceful, snow-leopard-y 2021!

  2. Thank you Charu. It is good to hear that there has been progress despite the limitations caused by Covid. Pleased to learn that more conservation agreements have been completed in the Himalayas. I was last in Spiti and Kibber in 1997 but I still feel a connection.

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