Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) is an endangered species that has declined by at least 20% in recent years.  Major contributors to their decline include loss of habitat, loss of prey base, poaching, and persecution.  There are an estimated 4,000 to 7,000 snow leopards remaining in the wild, only half of which are estimated to be mature, breeding adults.  Snow leopard habitat is restricted to the high altitude mountainous regions of Central Asia (IUCN, 2008).  Russia’s snow leopard population is currently decreasing rapidly due primarily to poaching.


Project Title: Community-based Snow Leopard conservation and monitoring in the Argut River Basin, Altai

Summary:
To alleviate poaching pressures we are implementing a program in the Argut River Valley of the southern Altai Republic that focused on participatory monitoring of snow leopards as a vehicle for generating tourism revenue locally and vesting local peoples as partners and beneficiaries of snow leopard conservation.

Location: Altai Republic, Siberia, Russia

Timeline: 2010-2012

Field participants: Aduchi Beletov and Viktor Samoylov

Principal investigators:
James P. Gibbs, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, New York, USA
Mikhail Paltsyn, WWF-Altai Sayan, Gorno-Altaisk, Altai Republic, Russia
Sergei Spitsyn, Altaisky Nature Reserve
Matthew Foley, Altai Assistance Project, Wadhams, New York, USA
Jennifer Castner, The Altai Project, Half Moon Bay, California, USA
Rodney Jackson, Snow Leopard Conservancy, 18030 Comstock Avenue, Sonoma, CA 95476

Funding:
Panthera, Inc.

Contact:
James P. Gibbs, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, NY 13210 USA, jpgibbs@esf.edu, 315/470-6764

Sources:
Jackson, R., Mallon, D., McCarthy, T., Chundaway, R.A. & Habib, B. 2008. Panthera uncia. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 July 2011.