Snow Leopard conservation in Russia 2002-2021

The Altai Project has invested more than $210,000 in snow leopard conservation in Russia to date (largely 2010-2015, but continuing today). We pooled expertise with other international institutions involved in protecting this big cat. To expand on the saying “many hands make light work,” many hands also strengthen the work by contributing funds, scientific and technological expertise, community advocacy and education skills, translation and interpretation services, and mutual support. Learn more about our work…

TIMELINE of conservation and science milestones for snow leopard conservation in Russia

2021 – 65 individual cats are scientifically identified in Russia, 44 of which are found in Altai Republic.

2020 –A comprehensive research methodology handbook for snow leopards in Russia is published.

2016-17 –  WWF-Russia develops the first standardized national program for monitoring the snow leopard population in the Russian Federation.  The program is used for the first time in winter 2017.

2015 – The first large-scale snow leopard population survey in Russia is conducted.

2014 – Sailyugemsky National Park relaunches the Adopt a Snow Leopard program in Altai.

2014 – The second Snow Leopard Conservation Strategy for the Russian Federation is issued.  The cat’s population is estimated at  70-90 animals.

2013 – The Altai Project works with WWF-Altai-Sayan and Altaisky Nature Reserve to launch the first citizen science tours to study and protect snow leopards. The Altai Project and SUNY-ESF collaborate with Altai protected areas to experiment with remote anti-poaching technologies.

2012 – Altaisky Nature Reserve and The Altai Project launch the Adopt a Snow Leopard program to convert poachers and hunters into paid snow leopard protectors and trackers.

2011 – The Altai Project works with WWF-Altai-Sayan, SUNY-ESF (College of Environmental Science and Forestry), and local organizations and protected areas to begin anti-poaching and community education efforts.

2010 – The Altai Project begins supporting snow leopard surveys and funds the first camera trapping efforts. Four individual cats are identified.

2002 – The first Snow Leopard Conservation Strategy for the Russian Federation is published. The population of snow leopards is estimated at 100-150 animals. Field data is not available to support this estimate.

Snow leopard on the prowl. Photo by Snow Leopard Conservancy