Barys and Metallurg Hockey Clubs played a match in support of International Snow Leopard Day
October 21, 2022
21 October, 2022, Astana – On the eve of the International Day of the Snow Leopard, an ice hockey match between the Barys (Astana) and Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) clubs was held at the Barys Arena Ice Palace in Astana. During the game, a series of activities of the UNDP campaign "Kar barysyn saktayyk!" (Let us save the snow leopard!) took place. The campaign aims to draw attention to the problem of preservation of the snow leopard in Kazakhstan as a rare and endangered species.
Due to the threat of extinction, the snow leopard is on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List and in the national Red Books of all 12 countries where it occurs, including Kazakhstan. Over the past 40 years, the population of the snow leopard in Kazakhstan has declined from about 180-200 to 140-180 individuals.
For several years, UNDP and the government of Kazakhstan have been implementing a Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded project to protect and conserve the snow leopard population in Kazakhstan. The project conducts field research, undertakes anti-poaching activities, creates and improves a network of specially protected natural areas, promotes environmental awareness, and improves environmental legislation in Kazakhstan. Under the project, about 300 camera traps were installed in 13 specially protected natural areas in Almaty, East Kazakhstan, Zhambyl and Turkestan regions, allowing monitoring of the snow leopard population and its food base. At the initiative of UNDP, a modern SMART monitoring and patrolling system was introduced in Kazakhstan.
“For the first time in Kazakhstan, UNDP, in cooperation with the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Barys hockey club, are working on tagging snow leopards using satellite telemetry. The work started last year on the territory of the Altyn Emel State National Park, where telemetry of snow leopards was carried out. The initiative is being implemented to determine the habitat and migration routes of the snow leopard,”said Sukhrob Khojimatov, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Kazakhstan.
As part of the "Kar barysyn saktayyk!"campaign, a special photo area, a photo exhibition with unique shots of snow leopards in the wild nature of Kazakhstan, competitions with prizes, face painting for children and other activities for fans were organized in the Ice Palace. In addition, visitors could try their hand at creating a large painting of a snow leopard.
International Snow Leopard Day aims to raise public awareness on the risks of extinction of this rare animal. Snow Leopard Day was established in October 2013 in Bishkek at the World Snow Leopard Conservation Forum.
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