Xinjiang Snow Leopard Project

 


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Integrating people and wildlife to safeguard snow leopards in Xinjiang

The Xinjiang Snow Leopard Project (XSLP) is an initiative started by the Beijing Forestry University and the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) at Oxford University. We are developing our website and will include more content in the very near future in English and Chinese. For further information, please contact the Project Leaders: Dr Shi Kun (Chinese and English) or Dr Philip Riordan (English).

 

The Xinjiang Snow Leopard Project

Working closely with the Xinjiang Government and local communities we are undertaking a responsive research programme, to assess the current status of snow leopards and their prey within the Taxkurgan area of West Xinjiang. We are using this basic information to determine current threats and devise mitigation strategies for policy makers to safeguard this unique ecosystem and its species. 

Lying within the Pamir Mountains, the Taxkurgan area of Xinjiang Province in China has been identified as critical for snow leopard conservation. Livestock management and grazing practices in this area have changed markedly in recent years and their impacts on this ecosystem remains poorly understood. The significance of the Pamirs is highlighted by continued efforts to develop trans-boundary conservation strategies, linking the Taxkurgan region with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, forming a hub connecting the mountain ranges of Central Asia, and hence snow leopard populations across their range. Given the importance of this area for conservation, and for snow leopards in particular, we are urgently carrying out systematic surveys of snow leopards and their prey in the Taxkurgan area and a detailed study of human activities and their impacts.

The involvement of the local communities living within the Taxkurgan area is central to this initiative. We are training and equipping a network of field staff and community conservationists across the region. These local community "parabiologists" are taking an active part in the monitoring of snow leopards and other wildlife, providing vital data collection over the wider area.

News

Feb 2010: Happy "Year of the Tiger" (and snow leopard) to all.

Feb 2010: Team prepare for winter surveys in Xinjiang and Sichuan...Read more.

Jul 2009: Agreement made with SFA to extend our work to other areas in China

May 2009: Mariang and Shaksgam expedition a huge success... Read more.

Feb 2009: Team prepare for winter surveys of Mariang and Shaksgam valley. Read more...

Dec 2008: Project received Snow Leopard Conservation Grants award. Read more...

July 2008: Taxkurgan survey reconfirm presence of snow leopard after 23 years. Read more...

Nov 2007: MoU signed between WildCRU, BFU and Xinjiang Forestry Administration. Read more...

Catch up with the latest on Philip Riordan's Blog

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