We have a longstanding partnership with Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation (SLCF), led by Bayara Agvaantseren, to protect snow leopards in the Tost Nature Reserve, South Gobi, Mongolia.
We’re pleased to share with you some considerable achievements. This partnership is making a real, tangible difference to the future of snow leopards in Mongolia, and we’re committing a further £100,000 to fund another five years of this vital work. Bayara and her team have already achieved so much, including:
1. Tost Nature Reserve administration and capacity building
The headquarters officially opened in October 2020 with eight staff. Training sessions have taken place from the HQ and the team have been working hard to complete the plan to send to the South Gobi government.
2. Monitoring and patrolling Tost Nature Reserve
Seven Tost community rangers patrol the reserve twice a month, looking for any violations (such as illegal hunting and mining), and recording wildlife sightings and other important data. The community rangers were also provided with handheld GPS units and new binoculars, crucial to their monitoring and patrolling work.
3. Tost snow leopards
Thanks to the protected status of the Tost Nature Reserve, snow leopards that live here are much safer. Since 2009, SLCF and Snow Leopard Trust have been using camera traps to conduct annual snow leopard population surveys. The good news from the 2019-20 surveys is that the Tost population appears to be stable. This data is also contributing to the global snow leopard estimate called PAWS (Population of the World’s Snow Leopards).
4. Surveying Tost for archaeological sites
Responsible eco-tourism is a key component of the Tost 2021-25 Management Plan. Wildlife viewing may not be the only draw for tourism, as Tost is also a key archeological site.
5. Completion of signage in the Tost Nature Reserve
An extensive signage project was completed in Autumn 2021 to alert the public about the Reserve’s rules and regulations. Over 65 signs were placed in strategic locations, in addition to dozens of reserve boundary posts that were added to the borders.
6. Snow Leopard Day in Gurvantes
In 2013, October 23rd was officially declared International Snow Leopard Day. Tost Nature Reserve marked the Day in 2021 by running activities promoting snow leopard protection.
Investing in the future of snow leopards
With your support, SLCF has secured Tost as an 8,965 km2 protected area that is free of mining threats and with a governing administration and headquarters.
We’ve invested £100,000 in the conservation of snow leopards and now, thanks to the already impressive achievements of PTES Conservation Partner Bayara Agvaantseren and her team, we’re committing a further £100,000 to continue this vital conservation.
Over the next five years, we’ll support and strengthen the reserve’s management team. Regular patrolling is vital to keep the reserve free from illegal mining and poaching. Together, we can help protect the incredible snow leopard from extinction.
If you’d like to learn more about our work on snow leopards you can read more here or support the project with a donation: