Snow Leopard Reports: Bringing the Snow Leopard Community Together

A new scientific journal launched with support from Snow Leopard Trust scientists aims to make research about the elusive and difficult-to-study snow leopard freely accessible.

Science should be accessible to all, and this principle is gaining ground in the world of scientific publishing, although rather slowly. Typically, scientific journals charge high fees for journal subscriptions that are primarily paid by university libraries. This makes them available to students and faculty but leaves out others, who are expected to pay to access even a single article. 

A step in the positive direction in recent years has been the rise of open-access journals or articles that allow free reading and downloading of scientific papers. While this makes peer-reviewed science available to everyone, it transfers the publication cost burden to the authors instead. The publication fees for open articles can range from $500 to $12,000 each.

Snow leopard researchers and conservationists have limited funding to cover such high publication charges. Studying snow leopards is notoriously difficult, often resulting in small sample sizes which makes it a challenge to publish datasets that could contribute to a better understanding of snow leopard ecology and conservation.

To address this issue, the Snow Leopard Network (SLN) – a worldwide group that the Snow Leopard Trust helped create way back in 2002 – has launched an open-access, free-to-publish journal that does not charge publication fees. This new journal, called Snow Leopard Reports, aims to publish research and conservation experiences on snow leopards and their mountain ecosystems. With a focus on short articles, researchers can now publish relevant and valuable findings on the fascinating ecology of snow leopards for free.

The idea for Snow Leopard Reports originated in 2020 when members of SLN (over 600 conservationists, scientists, and 32 organizations dedicated to snow leopard conservation) expressed the need for increased knowledge exchange within the community. Snow Leopard Reports is a means to disseminate that information about snow leopards and their ecosystems. 

“It is almost two years since the Snow Leopard Network’s Steering Committee launched the project. None of us had any previous publishing experience and we had to meet several strict requirements to qualify as a scientific journal and meet international standards. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences helped us initially and put us in contact with an amazing crew at the Swedish National Library. They and a consultant company set up the journal website and helped us with all requirements for ISSN numbers, registrations and arranging so it is indexed in databases. Snow Leopard Reports now hold all the qualifications of a scientific journal. It has been a long road and we are very pleased to announce that the first issue of Snow Leopard Reports has been published,” shared Dr. Orjan Johansson, Senior Scientist at Snow Leopard Trust and one of the Editors in Chief.

The inaugural issue of Snow Leopard Reports showcases remarkable scientific contributions. It features a study on the size of snow leopards across their range, combining data from various organizations and individuals captured for collaring. Another article delves into conflicts and potential mitigation strategies across the snow leopard’s habitat. A third one provides two intriguing observations of snow leopards possibly killing a fox at two sites where they had hunted other prey (including a blue sheep and a domestic goat). The journal issue also includes news updates and an Editorial letter from Professor Lu Zhi, former Chair of the Snow Leopard Network’s Steering Committee. She shares important insights into the snow leopard community in China and on bringing people together for better conservation. 

“We are excited about the launch of Snow Leopard Reports and the opportunities it brings for the snow leopard community. This journal can serve as a platform for scientists and conservationists to collaborate, share their findings, and build a deeper understanding of snow leopards and their ecosystems. By facilitating knowledge exchange, we hope to strengthen conservation efforts and contribute to the long-term survival of this iconic species,” added Dr. Justine Shanti Alexander, one of the Editors-in-Chief of Snow Leopard Reports, Executive Director of the Snow Leopard Network and Senior Conservation Scientist at the Snow Leopard Trust.

The editors anticipate the release of the journal’s second issue in early 2024. This open-access platform ensures that the invaluable research and natural history observations on snow leopards continue to reach a broad audience while eliminating the financial burden on authors and readers alike.

Read the full issue here:


Thank you to The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Library team and the team working with the Publicera platform at the Swedish National Library for their generous support, Snow Leopard Trust for supporting the costs of design and formatting, and the editorial board and all authors, editors, reviewers and contributors


  1. Excellent news for the SLN and for Snow Leopards, their habitats, and their neighbors! I can’t wait to delve into the issue! Congratulations to all involved.

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