Kyrgyzstan to host snow leopard conservation forum in 2017

Kyrgyzstan to host snow leopard conservation forum in 2017

27 September 2016

In 2017, Kyrgyzstan will host the 2nd Global Snow Leopard Conservation Forum, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev announced at the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly. According to Abdyldaev, biodiversity in the mountain ecosystems in Kyrgyzstan is facing extinction due to climate change. Specifically, since the 1990s, the snow leopard population has declined by half, from 600 to 300 individuals.


In 2013, Kyrgyzstan held the first Global Snow Leopard Conservation Forum, which kick-started cooperation between the countries where the wild cat can be found.


“Next year, we will convene a second forum that will summarise the work of the past few years, and outline further collaborative action to preserve this rare species,” the minister announced.


The snow leopard is one of the most under-studied species on the planet. Its habitat spreads over 12 countries, including Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The northernmost area of the current habitat is in Russia, in the mountains of the Altai, Tyva and Buryatia republics, and in the south of the Krasnoyarsk Territory.


Experts estimate there are between 3,500 and 7,500 snow leopards in the world while the population in Russia is no more than 70 to 90 individuals. The snow leopard population is steadily declining and conservation requires the coordinated action of the global community.