International Snow Leopard Day

International Snow Leopard Day

23 October 2015

This year’s International Snow Leopard Day was celebrated on 23 October. The holiday was established in 2013 at the Global Snow Leopard Conservation Forum in Bishkek by representatives of the 12 countries in which the snow leopard resides. The Russian delegation included representatives of the Russian Geographical Society, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, members of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Association of the Altai-Sayan Region Nature Reserves and National Parks. Following the forum, the participants adopted the Bishkek Declaration on Snow Leopard Conservation. This date became a new holiday devoted to the snow leopard, its conservation and protection. 


In 2015, celebrations took place in many cities of the Altai-Sayan Region and several nature reserves: the Sayano-Shushensky, Khakassky, Tigireksky, Sailyugemsky and Altaisky nature reserves, Yergaki Nature Park and others.


The Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve hosted environmental and educational events, at which nature reserve employees spoke to young and adult visitors about the reserve and its inhabitants, and the use of trail cameras, which help monitoring the snow leopard count.


Visitors could also watch a documentary about snow leopards and make a salt dough leopard figurine.


The Khakassky Nature Reserve together with HC Sayany-Khakassia prepared a festive programme for visitors of all ages: guests met with two snow leopard mascots, Bars Zapovedny and Bars Sportivny, performed a dance dedicated to snow leopards, took part in a snow leopard quiz and were even caught on camera after putting on leopard makeup.


On International Snow Leopard Day, Sailyugemsky National Park hosted a meeting with the winners of a contest to name two snow leopard cubs. The park’s director, Alexander Chaika, thanked the participants in the contest and presented certificated and gifts to the winners, who came up with the names Altyn and Argut.


The snow leopard is the only large feline inhabiting the mountains of Central Asia. In Russia, there are about 150-200 members of this engendered species.


In 2010, the Russian Geographical Society provided a grant for the project, Following the Snow Leopard's Tracks, to study the snow leopard population, its numbers and habitat. The data received as part of this project will help preserve the rare feline and the ecosystem of South Siberia. In 2012, the project transformed into a large-scale programme, Wild Cats of South Siberia, to study and preserve the snow leopard, manul and lynx in the region.