Between 2003 and 2016 the SLN successfully implemented the Conservation Grants Program with the support of the Snow Leopard Conservancy, Whitley Fund for Nature, the World Wildlife Fund and the Snow Leopard Trust. This enabled teams from 11 of the 12 snow leopard range countries to take forward over seventy conservation projects.
Supported projects have covered a wide range of issues and addressed critical gaps in knowledge or conservation action at the local level. A total of 29 projects enabled snow leopard population assessments across sites, landscapes or regions in 9 of the 12 range snow leopard countries. In some instances, the presence of snow leopards was confirmed for the first time in those areas, spurring conservation action. Fourteen projects supported research to test new approaches for surveying snow leopard populations or to gather information about snow leopard and prey ecology. Fifteen projects took forward a range of community-based conservation and snow leopard conflict mitigation efforts, including anti-poaching, corral improvements, and livestock insurance and vaccination interventions. These represented an important catalyst for setting up longer term community-based conservation programs. Eight education and social mobilization programs for youth, teachers, monks or herders were also supported in 7 countries. Finally, grants were provided to support the development of Snow Leopard National Action Plans in Kazakhstan (2011) and Uzbekistan (2003). A number of the grant supported projects have subsequently been published in international journals. Check out the 2011 Grant Brochure!
Currently the Snow Leopard Conservation Grant Program is on hold, pending identification of future funding. SLN is actively seeking support to restart and ramp up this important Conservation Grants Program, focussing on research and conservation projects. Funding is needed to nurture new talent from the range countries, thereby shaping the next generation of snow leopard conservationists, and to support community-based conservation initiatives on the ground. Grantees and projects are provided financial support through the small grants program but importantly are given access to technical support and networking opportunities through other SLN activities. The experience gained can thereby rapidly become available to all network participants, informing program scale up at the local level and elsewhere.
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