WWF-India's work for Snow Leopard

WWF-India has adopted a holistic approach to snow leopard conservation by focusing on the conservation of high altitude rangelands in partnership with the diverse local communities and other stake-holders in the Himalaya.
Our vision is to Conserve and manage the high mountain rangelands through participatory policies and actions that result in
  • Stable or increasing population and occupancy of snow leopards
  • Recovery of populations of native wild ungulates
  • Healthy rangelands and resilient/secure communities living in harmony with wildlife (pro-conservation attitudes and behaviors).
  • Community stewardship of rangeland governance, conservation and management
Our ongoing work towards the conservation of snow leopards and their habitats includes
  1. Evidence-based scalable conservation approaches: Establishing baselines and setting up the monitoring of snow leopard, wild ungulates (to examine recovery of wild ungulates), livestock populations and habitats.
  2. Landscape-level conservation planning: The snow leopard is a wide-ranging species, and most of its habitat is a multiple-use area. The nature of conservation interventions will vary considering the inherent variation imposed by different livestock grazing pressures, topographic features, land use types, and community dependence on the land.
    A holistic landscape-scale conservation approach is essential.
  3. Draft and implement community-led by-laws to conserve rangelands-wetlands, wild predators, wild ungulates, and water sources. It requires a ‘radical listening’ approach to identify interventions that may work in the best interest of communities and wildlife.
  4. Policy advocacy for rangeland conservation: Influence state and national policies on the management of rangelands that highlight their importance as unique ecological systems and drive the local economy. The desired outcomes are to (i) see rangelands being treated as valuable ecosystems and not wastelands and (ii) prevent flawed interventions such as large-scale plantation drives and other land-use changes that premise on rangelands being degraded/wastelands.
  5. Science support for conservation: We focus on applied research to solve critical conservation challenges in the snow leopard habitat. That includes research on rangelands, attitudes and tolerance of communities towards wildlife and interaction between people, snow leopards, wild ungulates and livestock. 
© Aishwarya Maheshwari/WWF-India
The Snow Leopard photographed from Kargil District, India during WWF-India's survey in Jun 2009
© Aishwarya Maheshwari/WWF-India
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