New Article to the Bibliography


Please find details below, of a new article added to the Bibliography:

Title: Community-Based Conservation for the Sustainable Management of Conservation Conflicts: Learning from Practitioners

Authors: Young, J. C., Alexander, J. S., Bijoor, A., Sharma, D., Dutta, A., Agvaantseren, B., Mijiddorj, T. N., Jumabay, K., Amankul, V., Kabaeva, B., Nawaz, A., Khan, S., Ali, H., Rullman, J. S., Sharma, K., Murali, R., Mishra, C.

Abstract:  We explore the role of community-based conservation (CBC) in the sustainable management of conservation conflicts by examining the experiences of conservation practitioners trying to address conflicts between snow leopard conservation and pastoralism in Asian mountains. Practitioner experiences are examined through the lens of the PARTNERS principles for CBC (Presence, Aptness, Respect, Transparency, Negotiation, Empathy, Responsiveness, and Strategic Support) that represent an inclusive conservation framework for effective and ethical engagement with local communities. Case studies from India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Pakistan show that resilient relationships arising from respectful engagement and negotiation with local communities can provide a strong platform for robust conflict management. We highlight the heuristic value of documenting practitioner experiences in on-the-ground conflict management and community-based conservation efforts.



SLN Webinar: Birds in snow leopard habitats

Do join us for our next special SLN Webinar: “Birds in snow leopard habitats”. Many SLN members may recall that over the last year we have featured and explored the world of species co-existing with the snow leopard, including the grey wolf and the brown bear. When we think of other species co-existing with the snow leopard; we often don’t focus on birds. Yet a number of bird species have evolved at high elevations in snow leopard habitats and many more migratory species use snow leopard landscapes in summer.

This Webinar will describe the remarkable diversity of bird life in snow leopard habitats and highlight how conserving the unique high elevation habitat of the snow leopard will benefit a range of other species. We welcome John MacKinnon, distinguished author of A Field Guide to the Birds of China (published in 2000), and Terry Townshend, well known in Beijing as a leading expert on ornithology, to lead the webinar- they will take us to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and give us more than a birds eye view on this interesting look at snow leopard conservation.

Tibetan Bunting – a range-restricted endemic species of the region

About the Webinar

John and Terry will set the scene by describing a set of resident bird families (from small to very large) that have evolved in snow leopard landscapes at high altitudes. They will then move on to describing seasonal migrant birds and trace the routes they use into snow leopard mountain regions such as the river valleys of the Mekong. Some of these are short distance migrants, others longer and some remain unconfirmed in terms of routes and ultimate destinations. Finally they will explore the conservation implications for birds and snow leopards together. Throughout their presentations our speakers will draw on observations and learnings from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

About our Guests

John MacKinnon is a well-known ecologist and conservationist who has worked for for 45 years in Asia and over 30 years in China. He has written Bird Field Guides for several parts of Asia including China and has made several trips into snow leopards ranges including Bhutan, Nepal, the Tianshan and Qinghai, China. He has also produced a number of films on the wildlife of the Tibetan Plateau and Xinjiang.

John MacKinnon

Terry Townshend is a Beijing-based wildlife conservationist. Since 2016 he has worked with ShanShui Conservation Center to set up a community-based wildlife-watching tourism project on the Tibetan Plateau focusing on snow leopards and other apex predators. During more than 20 visits, he has documented the birds that share the mountain habitat with these magnificent cats, including their interactions.

Terry Townshend


Tuesday, July 27th, 2021; 19:00- 20:00 Beijing, China time


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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.
White-browed tit-warbler Photo by John MacKinnon
White eared pheasant Photo by John Mackinnon
Robin Accentor Photo by John Mackinnon
Little owl Photo by John Mackinnon
Golden eagle Photo by John Mackinnon
Beautiful rosefinches Photo by John Mackinnon
Ibisbill Photo by John Mackinnon

New Article to the Bibliography

Please find details below, of a new article added to the Bibliography:

Title: Factors affecting livestock depredation by snow leopards (Panthera uncia) in the Himalayan region of Nepal

Authors: Karki, A., Panthi, S.

Abstract: The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) found in central Asia is classified as vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Every year, large number of livestock are killed by snow leopards in Nepal, leading to economic loss to local communities and making human-snow leopard conflict a major threat to snow leopard conservation. We conducted formal and informal stakeholder’s interviews to gather information related to livestock depredation with the aim to map the attack sites by the snow leopard. These sites were further validated by district forest office staffs to assess sources of bias. Attack sites older than 3 years were removed from the survey. We found 109 attack sites and visited all the sites for geo location purpose (GPS points of all unique sites were taken). We maintained at least a 100 m distance between attack locations to ensure that each attack location was unique, which resulted in 86 unique locations. A total of 235 km2 was used to define livestock depredation risk zone during this study. Using Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling, we found that distance to livestock sheds, distance to paths, aspect, and distance to roads were major contributing factors to the snow leopard’s attacks. We identified 13.64 km2 as risk zone for livestock depredation from snow leopards in the study area. Furthermore, snow leopards preferred to attack livestock near livestock shelters, far from human paths and at moderate distance from motor roads. These identified attack zones should be managed both for snow leopard conservation and livestock protection in order to balance human livelihoods while protecting snow leopards and their habitats.


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. 

Snow Leopard NEWS announced in Mandarin

We thank Snow Leopard Network China for sharing this initiative for teams across China. (Link to original Post)

国际雪豹网络 (SLN) 是一个全球性组织,致力于促进世界各地之间关于雪豹保护的信息和见解交流,并力求“联动向上”,提升雪豹保护的影响力。

秉承着这样的理念,SLN怀着激动的心情向大家宣布《雪豹新闻》Snow Leopard NEWs(SL NEWS)这一开源年报(annual open-access newsletter)的成立。

Snow Leopard NEWS(SL NEWS)是国际雪豹网络 (SLN) 的开源时讯年刊,是SLN指导委员会2021-2023年的优先事项,旨在促进全网雪豹保护者及研究人员间的交流。SL NEWS希望通过野外笔记和研究成果来收集整理和呈现有关雪豹生物学和保护的最新信息,包括雪豹的种群状态和栖息地的变化。欢迎各位以野外笔记、研究成果和保护前线手记的形式投稿。编辑团队将通过同行评议机制来定刊。


分享雪豹生态学与保护的最新资讯。包括雪豹、它的猎物和雪豹栖息地共生的其他食肉动物。我们也寻求应对雪豹栖息地威胁的创新保护实践和政策。 另外,还会着重展示雪豹栖息地国家保护工作者和科研人员的的工作开展情况,并支持他们分享保护工作及科研成果。

编辑团队由SLN指导委员会成员和受邀的SLN成员组成。主编:Orjan Johansson博士,三位副主编:肖凌云博士、Justine Shanti Alexander博士和Munib Khanyari。SLN指导委员会主席Sandro Lovari博士担任名誉编辑。


SL NEWS发表与保护雪豹和雪豹分布范围内的共生物种有关的原创性科研成果、野外观察笔记和保护时讯。编辑团队将评审稿件,按需进行同行评议和稿件的接收。SL NEWS每年发布一次,但文章预览会提前在线发布。我们将在期刊中标出经过同行评议的笔记或文章。同时,SL NEWS也在申请ISSN注册。 
在SL NEWS上发表的文章分为以下几类:

野外笔记(Field Notes)(500-1,000字,正文,英文):此类别以雪豹景观中的自然历史故事或实地观察为主。提交的作品所讲述的引人入胜的故事,需要能激发创新的假设或者能够体现更大背景下的雪豹及其他共生物种的生态、生物及演化。可以提交照片作为辅助观察记录。 

简短研究成果(Short Notes)(500-1,500字正文,英文):短文内容覆盖与雪豹及其共生物种保护相关的新发现、方法或概念。这部分是《SL NEWS》中最注重数据的部分,典型框架包含概述、方法、结果及其简洁的讨论。也接受关于特定主题的简短评论论文。所有参考文献应嵌入文章中。可多用照片、图表和地图。这类文章一般会进行同行评议。 

保护前线手记(Notes from the Conservation Frontline)(500-1,000字,正文,英文):这部分稿件应突出从业者在雪豹景观保护前线所面对的问题。笔记应简明扼要,并展示出与更宽泛的保护文献的关联。文章结构无要求,可选合适形式分享从业者的观点(包括介绍、主要观察和讨论)。参考文献需嵌入文本中,除非必要,无需使用图形、图表或表格。 


  • 提交的内容必须为Word文档格式。
  • 提交的内容应包括以下部分(提交类别、标题、作者列表、作者联系方式、摘要、正文、致谢和参考书目)。
  • 字号为12,双倍行距,标注页码和行号。并请说明是否同意对提交的稿件进行同行评议。
  • 请提供三位推荐同行专家评审的姓名和电子邮件地址(或任何可能涉及审稿利益冲突的专家姓名)。 
  • 最多150个单词,包括基本原理、方法、结果和主要发现。
  • 包含阐明文章而需要的物种、栖息地、景观图片或其他图表资料。
  • 图表、图纸和标题在缩小后应清晰易读。
  • 地图应标明公制单位比例尺和指北针。
  • 文中对出版物的引用按作者姓名和出版年份。 
  • 文末参考书目按字母顺序排列:作者姓名、出版年份、作品的完整标题、期刊名称(斜体)、卷号和页码。例如:Johansson Ö., McCarthy T., Samelius G., Andrén H., Tumursukh L., Mishra C., 2015. Snow leopard predation on a livestock dominated landscape in Mongolia. Biological Conservation 184: 251–258. 
  • 如果参考文献中有两本(篇)或以上相同作者及年份的书籍或论文,在参考文献列表和文中都应在发表年份后加上小写的a、b等。
  • 雪豹新闻Snow Leopard NEWS第一期投稿征集时间为2021年6月1日至12月1日。
  • 请按照上述提交格式指南将您的注释提交到以下电子邮件地址 
  • 主编与副主编们将进行初审并与作者沟通,包括是否需要对稿件进行同行评议。一些稿件可能直接发表,无需同行评议。如果稿件不适合本期刊,也会相应地通知作者。一般来说,初评会在收到稿件后2-3周完成。 
  • 如果接受同行评议,提交的内容将发送同行专家评审。编辑将根据专家反馈意见决定是否接受稿件,不论是否修改。 
  • 期刊会是开源性质的,可供公众查阅。
  • 雪豹新闻每年在线发布;第一期预计在2022年上半年。 
  • 雪豹新闻(首发版)正接受投稿  
  • 雪豹新闻 正在寻找英语编辑人员,对要发表的笔记或文章进行最终编辑。职位是志愿者的形式(目前没有报酬)。如果您有这方面的技能,并希望在做出贡献。请发送简历至


  • 英文版投稿指南原文(pdf版,点击“阅读原文”下载)

New Article to the Bibliography

Please see details below, of a new article added to our Bibliography:
Title:  Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) Genetics: The Knowledge Gaps, Needs, and Implications for Conservation
Author: Weckworth, B.

Abstract:  Conservation geneticists apply genetic theory and techniques to preserve endangered species as dynamic entities, capable of coping with environmental change and thus minimizing their risk of extinction. Snow leopards are an umbrella species of High Asia, and a keystone for maintaining biodiversity within this fragile ecosystem. A clear understanding of patterns of snow leopard genetic diversity is critical for guiding conservation initiatives that will ensure their long-term persistence. Yet, a comprehensive analysis of snow leopard genetic variation is lacking. The number of published snow leopard genetic studies is far fewer than for other imperiled big cats. Here, I review the limited genetic work to date on snow leopards and the significant knowledge gaps to be filled. An emphasis must be placed on describing and understanding population genetic dynamics within and among meta-populations to provide information about the interactions between landscapes and the micro-evolutionary processes of gene flow and genetic drift. These results can be used to evaluate the levels and dynamics of genetic and demographic connectivity. A lack of connectivity, particularly in the low density, small populations that typify snow leopards, can lead to multiple demographic and genetic consequences, including inbreeding depression, loss of adaptive potential, and heightened susceptibility to demographic and environmental stochasticity. New efforts in conservation research on snow leopards should focus on this line of inquiry, and the opportunities and challenges for that are outlined and discussed to encourage the required, and considerable, transboundary partnerships and collaborations needed to be successful.

New Article to the Bibliography

There is an interesting article written in the British Journal for the History of Science on the development of snow leopard science and conservation in India and China. This is a part of a special issue on science in India and China (2016).

Title: Studying the snow leopard: reconceptualizing conservation across the China–India border
Authors: Lewis, M., Songster, E.E.
Abstract:  The snow leopard is a highly charismatic megafauna that elicits admiration, concern and donations from individuals and NGOs in the West. In its home territories, however, it is a threat to local communities’ livestock and a potential source of income for its pelt and parts. Conservation and study are further challenged by its range; snow leopards traverse the borders separating China, India and ten other countries with long histories of tension with each other as well as internal political and economic struggles. This transnational animal provides an ideal case study for the consideration of transnational conservation science in the recent past.

Announcing ‘Snow Leopard NEWS’!

The Snow Leopard Network (SLN) is a worldwide network dedicated to facilitating the exchange of information and insights around snow leopards. It strives to “link up to scale up” efforts and thereby enhance the impact of snow leopard conservation investments. 

Very much in this ethos, SLN is excited to announce an annual ‘open-access’ newsletter entitled ‘Snow Leopard NEWS’. Through a series of short notes and research contributions, the aim of the newsletter is to collate and make available the latest information on snow leopard ecology and conservation. Its ambit includes not only the snow leopard, but also its prey and carnivores that share the landscape with this majestic cat. Snow Leopard NEWS is also committed to featuring innovative conservation practices and policies which address threats impacting snow leopard habitats. Snow Leopard NEWS is especially committed to showcasing work that is undertaken by conservation practitioners at different levels across the snow leopard landscapes.

Three types of contributions are welcome: Field Notes, Short Notes and Notes from the Conservation Frontline. You can find more about each of these categories and the submission process here. Contributions will be finalized by an editorial team using a peer-review process. Snow Leopard NEWS will be published once a year, but ‘early view articles’ will be published online at an earlier date.

The call for Snow Leopard NEWS is now open: for the period June 1st 2021 – December 1st 2021. The first issue is expected to be out in the first half of 2022.

We are thrilled with this endeavor and we sincerely hope this will allow for greater collaboration, communication and sharing of knowledge feeding into stronger and more effective conservation efforts in the field. Do feel that Snow Leopard NEWS is where you can share latest ideas and developments from your and colleagues work. We are excited to see your contributions!

Visit our website for more information:

New Technical Report added to the Bibliography

Please find details of a new Technical Report that has been added to our Bibliography.

Title: Over 100 Years of Snow Leopard Research: A Spatially Explicit Review of the
State of Knowledge in the Snow Leopard Range.

Authors: Sharma, R. K., Singh, R.  

Executive Summary:  Evolved to live in some of the world’s highest and harshest habitats, the elusive and rare snow leopards (Panthera uncia) are undisputed icons of High Asia. Across their distributional range in Central and South Asia, the snow leopard’s habitat spans diverse landscapes, with livestock herding being the most dominant form of land use. As a result, areas inhabited by snow leopards and people often overlap, creating challenges as well as opportunities for their conservation.Snow leopard conservation has received increasing attention in the past two decades and global interest in protecting this unique high-mountain cat continues to rise. However, effective and efficient snow leopard conservation initiativesrequire multi-dimensional research and collaboration among a diverse array of actors. National governments in snow leopard range, for instance, have repeatedly pledged their support for the conservation of the animal and the breathtaking landscapes they inhabit. These landscapes house an array of unique high-altitude wildlife and provide homes and life-sustaining natural resources to hundreds of millions of people. The mountains of High Asia also form the headwaters of 20 major river basins, an important water source for 22 countries (Sindorf et al., 2014). More than 2 billion people live in these basins which overlap the snow leopard range.

Given the growing interest in and commitment towards conservation of snow leopards and their habitats, it is crucial to examine the depth and breadth of knowledge currently available to inform conservation efforts and identify gaps in that knowledge. We reviewed over 100 years of published research on snow leopards to examine its temporal and spatial trends across an array of thematic areas.

Snow leopard research intensified in the 1970s and studies on snow leopards have continued to increase exponentially since then. However, just four hotspots of snow leopard research (sites with continued multi-year research) have emerged, with less than 23% of the snow leopard range being researched. Nepal, India and China have conducted the most snow leopard research, followed by Mongolia and Pakistan. Our analysis revealed that

snow leopard research was highly focussed on ecological research followed by studies on human-wildlife conflict. Most ecological studies focused on estimating the number and distribution of snow leopards and prey species. However, conservationists have surveyed less than 3% of the snow leopard range using rigorous and scientifically acceptable abundance estimation approaches. The lack of attention to the human dimensions of conservation was particularly stark, especially given that the majority of the snow leopard range is inhabited by local communities dependent on livestock herding. More importantly, very few studies evaluated the effectiveness of conservation actions. A lack of evidence demonstrating and quantifying the impacts of conservation interventions is a significant knowledge gap in snow leopard research.

In this review, we identify and suggest the high-priority research necessary for effective conservation planning for snow leopards and their multiple-use habitat in High Asia.  


New Articles to the Bibliography


Please find details below, of two new articles added to the Bibliography:

Title: Assessing the Effectiveness of a Community-based Livestock Insurance Program

Authors: Alexander, J. S., Agvaantseren, B., Gongor, E., Mijiddorj, T. N., Piaopiao, T., Stephen Redpath, S., Young, J., Mishra, C.

Abstract:  Financial mechanisms to mitigate the costs of negative human–carnivore interactions are frequently promoted to support human coexistence with carnivores. Yet, evidence to support their performance in different settings is scarce. We evaluated a community-based livestock insurance program implemented as part of a broader snow leopard conservation effort in the Tost Tosonbumba Nature Reserve, South Gobi, Mongolia. We assessed program ef!ciency and effectiveness for snow leopard conservation using a results-based evaluation approach. Data sources included program records from 2009 to 2018, as well as surveys conducted in 2016 and 2017, which allowed us to compare key indicators across communities that participated in the insurance program and control communities. Program coverage and number of livestock insured rapidly increased over the years to reach 65% of households and close to 11,000 livestock. Participants expressed satisfaction with the program and their contributions increased over time, with an increasing proportion (reaching 64% in 2018) originating from participant premiums, suggesting strong community ownership of the program. Participants were less likely to report the intention to kill a snow leopard and reported fewer livestock losses than respondents from control communities, suggesting increased engagement in conservation efforts. These results together suggest that the insurance program achieved its expected objectives, although it is challenging to disentangle the contributions of each individual conservation intervention implemented in intervention communities. However, in the !rst three years of the program, snow leopard mortalities continued to be reported suggesting that additional interventions were needed to reach impact in terms of reducing retaliatory killings of large carnivores.


Title:  Spatial variation in population-density of snow leopards in a multiple use landscape in Spiti Valley, Trans-Himalaya
Authors: Sharma, R. K., Sharma, K., Borchers, D., Bhatnagar, Y V., Suryawanshi, K. R., Mishra, C. 

Abstract:  The endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia occurs in human use landscapes in the mountains of South and Central Asia. Conservationists generally agree that snow leopards must be conserved through a land-sharing approach, rather than land-sparing in the form of strictly protected areas. Effective conservation through land-sharing requires a good understanding of how snow leopards respond to human use of the landscape. Snow leopard density is expected to show spatial variation within a landscape because of variation in the intensity of human use and the quality of habitat. However, snow leopards have been difficult to enumerate and monitor. Variation in the density of snow leopards remains undocumented, and the impact of human use on their populations is poorly understood. We examined spatial variation in snow leopard density in Spiti Valley, an important snow leopard landscape in India, via spatially explicit capture-recapture analysis of camera trap data. We camera trapped an area encompassing a minimum convex polygon of 953 km2. Our best model estimated an overall density of 0.5 (95% CI: 0.31–0.82) mature snow leopards per 100 km2. Using AIC, our best model showed the density of snow leopards to depend on estimated wild prey density, movement about activity centres to depend on altitude, and the expected number of encounters at the activity centre to depend on topography. Models that also used livestock biomass as a density covariate ranked second, but the effect of livestock was weak. Our results highlight the importance of maintaining high density pockets of wild prey populations in multiple-use landscapes to enhance snow leopard conservation.