Help end the poaching and killing of snow leopards.
Poaching of snow leopards is very real and is taking place right now. Snow leopards share habitat with herder communities. Owing to this close association between people and nature, losses in the form of livestock depredation by snow leopards are pervasive, and can be devastating to herder families who rely on their livestock for survival. Rural herders face annual livestock losses to snow leopard attacks that can reach as high as 12-13%, representing tremendous financial hardship that can provoke poaching and retaliatory killing.
GreaterGood.org partners with Snow Leopard Trust to provide an economic opportunity through an income-generating handicraft program called "Snow Leopard Enterprises" that helps offset livestock losses from snow leopard predation. Local herders (98% women) are provided training to make high quality handicrafts. Snow Leopard Trust buys the handicrafts at mutually-agreed, fair market prices so that women can rely on regular handicraft income; and sells the items internationally. Herders are required to sign conservation agreements promising to protect the snow leopard and the cat's key prey species from poaching or retribution killing.
You can help. Just $8 supports 1 Week of Training for 1 Woman. With your support, Snow Leopard Trust can help educate communities and empower women to keep the snow leopards safe.
The Snow Leopard Trust's mission is to conserve the majestic and rare snow leopard and its Central Asia mountain ecosystem through community-based conservation, rigorous science and education. With field offices in China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Pakistan, the Snow Leopard Trust's goal is to address and reduce the threats to the snow leopard that include persecution by rural people due to livestock depredation, habitat degradation and fragmentation, poaching for trade in pelts and bones, loss of wild prey, and lack of conservation awareness.
GreaterGood.org has ultimate authority and discretion with regard to the distribution of its funds. All expenditures made are consistent with the exempt purposes of GreaterGood.org.
In the remote Altai mountain range in Mongolia, nomadic herders have long lived alongside the region's legendary snow leopards, often forcing them to compete with these majestic cats for scarce resources. The Altai range is home to as many as a thousand snow leopards, making it the second-largest population in the world and one of the most important regions for conservation.
In 1997, Snow Leopard Enterprises (SLE) was established to help local herders increase their income while living harmoniously with the leopards. Through skills training and other support, SLE helps over 350 households formerly living in poverty increase their standard of living while protecting local ecosystems. Herders who formerly killed snow leopards to survive are taught to turn wool from their camels, yak, and sheep into valuable commodities such as yarn, hats, and rugs. In return, they do their part to help protect the big cats and their food sources.
In 2007, equipment and micro-credit loan programs were made available for SLE participants in Mongolia. Before the program was established, women used drop spindles to make yarn -- tedious and difficult work. SLE now provides them with spinning wheels, drum carders, felting needles, knitting needles, and training to improve quality and efficiency.
""As a single mother, I am so grateful for this program's usefulness and support. The women in my community all work together on this program, and being able to help other women in my community helps me in my own life,"" says Oyuntseren Oidov, SLE's local coordinator in Mongolia.
Women are able to generate more income, and SLE can keep a larger supply of goods on the market to meet the growing demand -- ensuring that public interest in the artisans' products stays high. As their income increases, the artisans are able to make a greater commitment to shared conservation goals.
As Snow Leopard Enterprises continues its track record of success in Mongolia, its vital conservation efforts grow stronger with the help of the international scientific community.