SLN Webinar: Snow Leopard Conservation in the Kyrgyz Republic

The Snow Leopard Network is pleased to invite you to the next episode in the Country Update Series. This webinar will focus on Kyrgyz Republic and the work of the Ilbirs Foundation in tackling some of the most pressing and challenging threats the species face. 

The Kyrgyz Republic continues to play an important role in snow leopard conservation. More than half of the territory of the country is potential snow leopard habitat. The Kyrgyz Republic has been a leader in taking forward the global snow leopard conservation initiative the Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP) hosting the first ever Global Snow Leopard Forum in the capital, Bishkek, in 2013 and subsequent important gatherings. A number of civil society and academic institutions in the country are working to build a better understanding of the cats status and engaging with communities to address key threats. 

SLN welcomes four guest speakers working with the Ilbirs Foundation  for this webinar, Zairbek, Rahim, Kenje and Tanya. They will be sharing updates from a range of new conservation initiatives that are taking shape in the country – addressing critical threats.

Photo by S Kennerknecht

About the Webinar

Climate Change: The team will first present the latest research and monitoring work being carried out under the UNEP Vanishing Treasures program. This work aims to investigate how pastoral communities are being impacted by climate change and find strategies to build community resilience.

Poaching: They will also discuss how Ilbirs Foundation supports the Kyrgyz Customs Service in tackling illegal wildlife trade. Dogs have been deployed at checkpoints for wildlife detection in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Protection 

Covid-19 Pandemic: The pandemic is affecting community conservation efforts. The team will share their experience and discuss strategies to keep community conservation efforts underway and effective in this period of uncertainty. 

About our Guests

Zairbek Kubanychbekov is the Director of Ilbirs Foundation. Prior to that he worked with Kaiberen Project and Panthera in Kyrgyzstan. Zair has been active in supporting the establishment of the very first community-based conservancies in Kyrgyzstan as well as working with the Kyrgyz Customs Service to train wildlife detection dogs.
Rahim Kulenbekov is a wildlife biologist with Ilbirs Foundation and prior to that with Panthera. Rahim has been a key member of the team that led the first snow leopard telemetry project in Kyrgyzstan.  He is the lead for the snow leopard and prey surveys under the UNEP Vanishing Treasures project in Kyrgyzstan. 
Kenje Sultanbaeva is program manager for Ilbirs Foundation. Formerly an English teacher she leads and supports all the communication for Ilbirs Foundation as well as environmental outreach programs.
Tanya Rosen is technical adviser for the UNEP Vanishing Treasures project in Kyrgyzstan and Conservation Adviser with the Caucasus Nature Fund. She has worked in Central Asia and on snow leopard conservation for 13 years, as Director of snow leopards programs in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan for Panthera until 2018 and adviser to BWCDO Project Snow Leopard in Pakistan. She is also co-founder of Ilbirs Foundation, member of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group and CMS CAMI Snow leopard focal point. 


Tuesday, July 13th, 2021; 17:00- 18:00 Bishkek Kyrgyzstan time


ZOOM, to join this talk,    REGISTER HERE

Please note

  • If you have never used Zoom before, we recommend that you try the link 10 minutes before the start of the lecture.
  • Please feel free to write questions in the comment area and there will be time for questions/discussion at the end of the talk.
  • Please note that the session will be recorded and later featured on the SLN website. If you have concerns about this please let us know before the session. 

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