Your Unofficial Guide to Kyrgyz Republic

Snow Leopards Spotted Making Selfies in Chui Region

Snow Leopards Spotted Making Selfies in Chui Region

Snow leopards have been captured on camera in Shamshy, Chui region, according to Snow Leopard Trust's article on National Geographic. Since 2015, the area, a former hunting concession, is a wildlife sanctuary run by the Kyrgyz government and conservationists.

We knew that this area had great potential as a snow leopard habitat. We’ve partnered with the government to establish and manage the Shamshy Wildlife Sanctuary when the opportunity presented itself. Earlier this year, we had found snow leopard tracks and scratch marks on several ridgelines in Shamshy. Now, these pictures prove the cat’s presence in the Sanctuary.
— Kuban Zhumabai uulu, Director of the Snow Leopard Foundation Kyrgyz Republic, and country program manager for the Snow Leopard Trust, National Geographic

It is the first time snow leopards are captured by cameras set up by the Sanctuary's three rangers and volunteers from India in the Ala-Too Range — they were photographed at five different locations within Shamshy Sanctuary, only about 75 km away from Bishkek, capital. It's not only about the first time snow leopards are captured by cameras in this area, the whole project of the sanctuary is a first time, when a former hunting concession is co-managed as a nature reserve by conservationists, the government, and the local community.

The Snow Leopard Trust and Snow Leopard Foundation Kyrgyz Republic cooperate in conservation in the area and also monitor trends in its wildlife populations over the next years. According to Charu Mishra, the Snow Leopard Trust’s Science & Conservation Director, with proper protection and management, Shamshy’s ibex population could double or even triple in the next 10 years, so it could become an important area for the snow leopard population of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too Range. The Kyrgyz Republic takes part in the worldwide effort to protect the snow leopard. Kyrgyz Republic held the first-ever Global Snow Leopard Conservation Forum in Bishkek in 2013, which led to the Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection Plan, a program with a goal to secure 23 snow leopard landscapes across the cat’s range by 2020. The country will also host a Global Summit on Snow Leopard Conservation in 2017.

Snow Leopard Foundation in Kyrgyz Republic partners with international organizations such as the Snow Leopard Trust to better understand and protect this cat in this key range country. The Snow Leopard Trust, based in Seattle, WA, is a world leader in conservation of the endangered snow leopard, conducting pioneering research and partnering with communities as well as authorities in snow leopard habitat to protect the cat.

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