By Natures Plus
The snow leopard, native to the mountains of Central Asia, is as elusive as it is beautiful. It is also rare, with less than 10,000 left in the wild, and is under pressure from poaching and habitat loss.
The Snow Leopard Trust has focused on preserving these animals for more than 25 years. It works with herding communities that live in the big cat’s range by offering them a deal: If the herders protect the leopards and the prey upon which they feed, the trust—working through Snow Leopard
Enterprises—will provide a global market for traditional handicrafts ranging from toys and personal accessories to rugs and home decor.
The group says families that participate in the program have seen their incomes increase by 50%, giving these impoverished people a significant stake in the snow leopard’s continued survival. www.snowleopard.org