The Kyrgyz team takes an adventurous trip to the mountains to reward local communities for their role in protecting snow leopards and endangered prey species.
Partner snow leopard communities in the Tian Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzstan protected cats and prey in their region throughout 2014, earning a conservation bonus for their efforts.
The isolated Kyrgyz mountain communities of Ak Shyrak, Enilchek and Uch Koshkon sits literally at the end of the road, just outside the Sarychat Ertash Nature Reserve, the country’s main snow leopard stronghold.
As the last outpost of civilization before the mountain wilderness, these villages could be privileged places for poachers and hunters to congregate and restock.
Instead, they have become essential partners in conservation!
The three communities agreed to protect the cats and their wild prey species in the areas surrounding the villages, while earn a sustainable income through the sale of Snow Leopard Enterprises handicrafts they make wool from their cattle.