Scientist: Bayarjargal (Bayara) Agvaantseren
Organisation: Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation
How PTES has helped me so far: PTES has been instrumental in helping SLCF to create, test and evaluate new ideas for community-based conservation in Mongolia. And these have helped us to build stronger local relationships with the community to protect snow leopards. In 2016 we began a special 5-year partnership with PTES which is enabling us to work with communities in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. These mountains, which are prime snow leopard habitat, were under threat from mining. PTES helped the local community secure these mountains as a state Nature Reserve and PTES is now making it possible to build strong, collaborative management between community, government, and NGOs.
I was born and raised in northern Mongolia. In the 1990’s I was hired by snow leopard researcher, Dr Tom McCarthy, to help translate community interviews. That’s when I started to learn about the plight of snow leopards and of the men and women herders living in snow leopard habitat. I became devoted to protecting the cats and finding solutions to helps herders in snow leopard habitat improve their lives.
Why I love snow leopards
Snow leopards are beautiful and powerful creatures. They are very rare and incredibly hard to find, yet they are the kings of the mountains where they live. The leopards are great hunters, roaming with pride and skill—in many ways they are an embodiment of the Mongolian spirit! When I see photos of snow leopards captured by our camera traps, I feel great excitement and joy to know that these creatures are still safe and at home in our country.
SLCF is contributing to national and global strategies for snow leopard survival and our major goals right now are to help monitor snow leopard populations across the country; support the first-ever long-term ecological study of the cats, which is taking place in South Gobi; and grow our community-based conservation work. South Gobi is a particularly important region for snow leopards and for SLCF, and one of our most important goals is to ensure that the newly formed Tost Nature Reserve in South Gobi is a shining success for community and government co-management in snow leopard habitat.
What your donation can achieve
Could pay for supplies for an ecotourism workshop.
Could help herder communities protect snow leopards for a month.
Could support a ranger for a month, preventing poaching in the Tost mountains.