Preservation of the snow leopard is well-being of people and planet

October 23, 2023
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan/Saltore Saparbayev

23 October – The International Snow Leopard Day.
The snow leopard is a symbol of the mountains and one of the rarest and little-studied animals on the planet.
The predator lives in 12 countries and is included in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and in the Red Books of the countries of its habitat.
In Kazakhstan, there are between 141-183 snow leopards.
The habitat covers the mountain ecosystems of the Altai, Zhetysu Alatau, Saur, and Tien Shan.
Today, the number of snow leopards in Kazakhstan has doubled over the past 30 years.
However, despite the measures taken, the snow leopard is still in danger.
The main threats causing the decrease in the number of snow leopards in the world are as follows: expansion of economic activity on the territory of the leopard habitat, climate change, and poaching.
The welfare of the snow leopard plays an important role in the population of wildlife and affects the state of ecosystems and human well-being. Reducing its population will lead to serious environmental consequences, such as land degradation and desertification.
Since 2018, the United Nations Development Programme, together with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with the financial support of the Global Environment Facility, have been implementing a project to study and preserve the snow leopard in Kazakhstan.
By preserving the snow leopard, we are preserving biodiversity and valuable ecosystems to achieve the sustainable development of people and the planet.