Silent Roar - UNDP and GEF in the Snow Leopard Landscape
Oct 21, 2016
In the world’s high places, there remains an animal rarely seen and almost never heard - the snow leopard. This is the story of one of the world’s great cats, noteworthy for the fact that it does not roar. But its conservation story, intricately linked with the landscapes and people, needs to be heard.
Promoting snow leopard conservation serves a broader purpose than simply saving one endangered species. Snow leopards act as an indicator of the health of the entire ecosystem in which they live, due to their position as the top (apex) predator in the food web. A diverse and abundant community of species—from insects and birds to mammals, reptiles and plants—must be sustained within the habitat for an apex predator to thrive. Monitoring snow leopard populations alerts conservationists to conditions that disrupt the health of the ecosystem, allowing them to take action to mitigate threats for the benefit of all species that live within it.
Snow leopards draw attention to the issues surrounding the decline of the species' population as well as garnering support for projects and initiatives to protect the animals and their habitat. Our projects employ a comprehensive strategy aimed at addressing direct environmental threats as well as the underlying conditions that allow these threats to arise. Projects also target the issues at multiple levels, from local, on-the-ground interventions to regional and national government policy reform, to efforts that require international cooperation. Each project is designed with a suite of interventions aimed at achieving direct conservation results as well as creating a political and social environment that facilitates sustainable change and enables countries to accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Through holistic project design and partnership with governments and other Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program organizations committed to conservation, the health and vitality of snow leopards and the people who rely on the high mountain ecosystems will extend long into the future.