International Snow Leopard Day

Snow leopards are on the verge of extinction

Three days through the forest and fields - a group of tourists and journalists found themselves in the native habitat of snow leopards. Now in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan there are from 200 to 300 individuals of the leopard. Meanwhile, in the remote areas of the high mountains of Central Asia and the Himalayas, there are about 2,500 leopards. Such figures were presented by the rangers of the Sarychat-Ertash reserve. According to the representatives of nature protection, such a big difference in figures is connected with the migration of the animal, which it is practically impossible to trace.
How the snow leopards are counted
"Tracking predators in the wild requires a very expensive equipment," explained the huntsman. - Previously, we had to do all the calculations approximately, and now, thanks to Japanese colleagues, we can observe the animals from the satellite. Literally in October we put collars with sensors to several dozen fauna representatives. In addition, we have photovoltaers along the territory of the park, receiving information from which we also observe the inhabitants of the reserve.
Poachers - won't pass unnoticed
When asked about poachers operating in a protected area, the hunters answered that it was practically impossible, and they managed to stop the activities of such groups. Despite the huge area of the Sarychat-Ertash nature reserve, which is 72 hectares, it's not easy to get there as it is located at altitudes from 2000 to 5500 meters above sea level. The main part of the workers of the protected area are local residents, they were born and grew up in these mountains. So they know every bush here, even an experienced poacher can not compete with them. Information was also confirmed in the rehabilitation center for wild animals in the village of Ananjevo.
Барс, снежный барс, ирбис, охотники на снежного барса, браконьеры, снежные барсы в Киргизии, шкура снежного барса
Rehabilitation center for snow leopards
"We have five snow leopards in the center, two of them, a female named Spiny and Violet are born here," comments Viktor Kulagin, director of the Nabu rehabilitation center. - It all began in the 90s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Then poaching was very developed for many reasons:
Firstly, many hunters who used to be involved in forestry were suddenly out of work, and they could do nothing else. So they began to kill rare animals. Second, the lack of a legislative framework.
It was at such times that a small leopard was seized from poachers by the poachers, they killed his mother and he could perish. To save lives, the kid was handed over to the government of Germany, then found another wounded leopard. And the Germans offered to finance the opening of a rehabilitation center in Kyrgyzstan. It's our property, after all. In 2002, the first guests appeared here - the male Kunak and the two females Bagheera and Alsu. Then they had children - Spiny and Violet. Now other rare species come to our center, not so long ago, three young lynxes were found. After rehabilitation, two of them were released into the wild, and the third "kitten" named Leopold stayed with us, he became too tame.
Conditions for leopards in the center are well created - it's a resort. Spacious cages, two meals a day. For sick lodgers and mincemeat can do. In captivity, the animal can live about 15-17 years. In the wild - this age is almost half the size. Though Snow Leopard s on the top step of the food chain it's non-fat, and therefore even with minor injury, it can die. 
In a year 5 snow leopards eat 100 donkeys
In a year five leopards eat about 100 donkeys, in total German investors allocate 500 thousand soms for the maintenance of the center. This amount is almost all spent on food, five employees, one boss, and four guards, and cleaners, and researchers.
Барс, снежный барс, ирбис, охотники на снежного барса, браконьеры, снежные барсы в Киргизии, шкура снежного барса
On the black market, the snow leopards skin costs 60,000 US dollars
According to Viktor Mikhailovich, now there is no danger for leopards, so only time is needed to increase their population. On the black market, the snow leopards skin costs 60,000 US dollars, and the fine reaches 500,000 soms (329,000 rubles). Despite the fact that the game is worth the candle, there is practically no chance to sell the snow leopard skin. It's simply unrealistic to pass customs with such a load. In addition, environmentalists and conservationists care about the fate of the leopard.
Program to increase the number of snow leopards
The State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry jointly with UNDP, has developed a program to increase the population of leopards, designed for four years with a budget of nearly 6 million US dollars. As the authors reported, the financing will be at the expense of foreign investors. According to the project, another reserve is planned to be opened, which will be connected to the existing buffer corridor. The expansion of the territory, according to the developers of the concept of rescuing leopards will become a factor in the increase of individuals.

Over 15 years in Kyrgyzstan, more than 200 snow leopard hunters have been detained
Over the past 15 years, Kyrgyzstan has detained more than 200 poachers, who traded snow leopards illegally. This was announced by the vice-president of the German Nature Conservation Union "NABU" Thomas Tenhundt at the World Forum on Protection of Snow Leopard on Earth.
"For 15 years of cooperation of our organization with the Kyrgyz government to combat the illegal trade of snow leopards and inefficient law enforcement activities. We managed to stop more than 200 poachers, who were engaged in illegal hunting and trade of snow leopards or parts of the snow leopard body. Many of them received long terms of imprisonment, "T. Tenhardt said.
According to him, the main objects of trade are carpets made of animal skins, fur, teeth and claws, used for luxurious decoration of interiors.
"In addition, there are cases when leopard meat is used for gastronomic purposes. Now illegal trade and demand for products from parts of snow leopard body is observed both inside states and at the international level, so fighting poaching and preserving the snow leopard is our common goal, "concluded T. Tenhardt.
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