Statement about Mongolia’s Ongoing Climate Disaster

You may have seen recent international news coverage reporting that Mongolia is experiencing some of its most extreme winter weather conditions now extending into spring. Deep snow and ice have covered grazing areas, creating catastrophic challenges affecting hundreds of thousands of people and millions of livestock.

Given their adaptations to life in cold conditions, we expect snow leopards to be able to weather these conditions over the short term. However, their prey populations are likely to be affected because their forage plants are blanketed by snow and ice.

Many of you have reached out regarding these extreme winter conditions, also known as a dzud. Our Mongolia team has connected with our partner communities and determined that their livestock losses are significant. Our initial response was to offer support by provisioning hay for their remaining livestock to survive the dzud period. However, the Mongolian government has helped the communities considerably by providing livestock feed, and we applaud this timely action. With immediate needs taken care of, our team is now discussing with our community partners how we can help enhance their resilience against such climate shocks in the future. We hope to begin implementing a comprehensive strategy by early next year.  

Our existing conservation-linked livelihood programs are largely ecosystem-based and founded on the sustainable use of those ecosystem services. They involve diversification of income, which allows the risk to livelihoods to be spread across multiple sources. This strategy is expected to help improve the resilience of vulnerable communities as the intensity and frequency of extreme climatic events and other threats increase. Our annual monitoring of snow leopard prey, including ibex and argali, will help us understand the extent to which wild prey have been affected by the dzud. We will provide an update as we make progress. We’re grateful for your concern and unwavering support.

Photo credit: D. Otgonbaatar 


  1. We must protect the Snow Leopards! Can we offer the families money for lost animals the Snow Leopards might have taken? And get the animals replaced? To keep peace.

    1. Hi Judie, our conservation programs are largely focused around livelihood improvement and diversification of income. This strategy helps herding communities be better prepared for events like this and be more resilient in the aftermath. We welcome any donation, it will benefit these communities now and in the future. In this instance, the Mongolian Government is also providing a lot of support to communities and families. Thank you so much for being an active member of our conservation family, we really appreciate your passion for these cats and communities.

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