A few weeks ago, Kuban Jumabai uulu, our Kyrgyzstan Program Director, traveled to Sarychat-Ertash Reserve to collect research cameras deployed earlier this year. The pictures he found on these cameras offer breathtaking glimpses into the secretive world of one of the world’s rarest cats, the elusive snow leopard!
During the trip, Kuban also trained five rangers from Kyrgyzstan’s Chon-Kemin National Park on snow leopard sign identification and the basics of camera trapping to empower them to conduct snow leopard surveys on their own.
Joining them were Udayan Rao Pawar, a young Indian photographer who was named Wildlife Photographer of the year in 2013 by BBC, and Ilya Domashov, a field researchers with the Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Program secretariat.
These rare photos aren’t just stunning to look at – they’re also of critical importance for conservation! They allow researchers to estimate populations and how they change over time, and they give information on habitat hot spots that need to be prioritized for protection.
In the last couple of years, our generous supporters have made it possible for us to greatly expand our camera studies across the snow leopard’s range. Each such camera costs approx. $500, and a reliable study of just one landscape requires at least 40 cameras.
You can help as well! Please consider making a gift today, so our researchers can purchase more cameras and conduct even more surveys in the remote habitat of the mysterious snow leopard!
This work has been supported by the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, the Chattanooga Zoo, and Fondation Segré / Whitley Fund for Nature.