Republic of Altai celebrates Snow Leopard Day on 26 May

Republic of Altai celebrates Snow Leopard Day on 26 May

26 May 2021

Apart from International Snow Leopard Day, marked on 23 October, the Republic of Altai boasting Russia’s largest snow leopard population has instituted its own special day honouring the rare predator. The republic’s Kosh-Agachsky District marked the first Snow Leopard Day on 26 May 2010.


Russia accounts for an insignificant share of the snow leopard’s habitat, and only a few stable groups are roaming the mountains of the Altai-Sayany eco-region. Today, 31 snow leopards live in the Republic of Altai.


The snow leopard remains the most mysterious feline in the world and has the status of a rare or endangered species in all countries where it lives, including Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The snow leopard is included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, Red Data Books of the just-mentioned countries and is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).


The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is trying hard to preserve and increase the population of snow leopards. The snow leopard ranks among high-priority species of the Preserving Biodiversity and Eco-Tourism Promotion federal project of the Ecology national project. Poaching is a major factor that keeps the snow leopard population down. The ministry therefore prioritises efforts to more effectively protect territories, part of the rare predators’ habitat.