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International Snow Leopard Trust

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Protection of Endangered Species

Mission: Founded in 1981 in Seattle, WA, the Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the snow leopard and its mountain ecosystem through a balanced approach that addresses the needs of the local people and the environment.

Snow leopards range over two million square kilometers of mountain in Central Asia, including the formidable Himalayas. Experts currently estimate as few as 3,500 exist in the wild, fewer than the world''s tiger population. As an "umbrella" or keystone species, snow leopard conservation has far-reaching importance as it leads to the protection of hundreds of other plants and animals sharing the cat''s ecosystem. The International Snow Leopard Trust is the oldest and largest organization focused solely on saving this important species. The Trust works nationally and internationally to raise awareness about endangered species, and to empower people living within snow leopard range to become stewards of their environment. To this end, the Trust conducts educational outreach, scientific research, and community-based conservation.

Target demographics: protect these endangered cats and their natural habitat

Direct beneficiaries per year: Our partner communities in China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Pakistan - and the snow leopard of course!

Geographic areas served: five snow leopard range countries

Programs: Snow Leopard Enterprises, which provides herders with the financial assistance, logistical support, equipment, and training they need to turn raw wool into high-quality, felted products such as rugs and clothing. The Trust purchases these products directly from the herders and sells them worldwide to increase awareness about snow leopard conservation. Herders agree to help the Trust protect snow leopards, their prey, and the habitat they all share. The Trust also helps communities establish livestock insurance programs, where herders can pay a premium to insure their goats and sheep against predation by snow leopards, bears, and wolves - making the financial impact of losing animals much easier to bear, and leading to increased tolerance towards these predators. Through its Ecosystem Health project, the Trust also helps establish livestock vaccination programs in snow leopard habitat; lowering livestock mortality rates and helping herders further secure their livelihood.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I have worked with members of the Snow Leopard Trust. Great team of absolutely dedicated folks.

What's best is they promote conservation that are backed by sound research and continue to engage actively with local people who share their space with snow leopards--the most important 'focus group' that ought to be included in any effort that intends to protect the beautiful species and the fascinating landscapes they inhabit.

Great work! Good luck.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Snow Leopard Trust is a great organization dedicated to snow leopard conservation! We have worked with them to hold local fundraisers many times and they are always so helpful and accommodating. Most importantly they are a model conservation organization that sets a perfect example of how to work with local communities while conserving snow leopards in the wild and educating people about the plight of snow leopards.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Snow Leopard Trust for many years. Their commitment to education of the indigenous people in the snow leopards range is amazing and so helpful to saving the snow leopard. They use very little to support the organization's administration; almost all the money donated goes to programs to learn about these cats and to educate and inform everyone about how important they are to the world. With a serious human overpopulation, organizations like this are more and more important to human survival, even if most humans don't understand this.

Previous Stories


Rating: 5

I have been impressed at how this nonprofit uses education and science to help track and save snow leopards in their habitat. Teachings aimed at local people who have contact with these cats are bound to pay off. Further, very little of my donation goes to administrative costs; most goes directly to actions.

Earth Endeavours Media

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am the Chief Editor of an open-access publication providing a platform for science and conservation. The Snow Leopard Trust are amongst the wildlife partners who contribute to our publication and their dedication to research and global awareness is exceptional. Through knowledge we can innovate and inspire strategies that preserve the wilderness, our beloved snow leopards and the cultural traditions that make our world such a wonderful place. It is my goal and priviledge to support their endeavours in all my capacity—helping raise awareness for their vital work.

Camryn L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I am a wildlife biologist who specializes in rare carnivores. I am very impressed by the work conducted by the Snow Leopard Trust. Their biologists work under very difficult conditions, in extremely remote areas, under harsh weather conditions, and yet they use state-of-the-art methods and exhibit not only dedication, but also perserverence to gain evidence of snow leopards to determine how many there are and where they are, so they can be protected from harm and studied.

I know from my own experience how exceptionally difficult it is to work under extreme conditions. It takes passion and conviction for the cause of saving a rare, endangered species that has made extraordinary physiological adaptations to the harsh environment. they inhabit We are blessed that there is a team of dedicated individuals who are ensuring this species will not go extinct. We should all be grateful to everyone who works to save this magnificent creature. The world would be a much better place if everyone was committed to such a worthy cause, saving our natural heritage from humans and habitat destruction.
Thank you for your hard work!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I like that I am not constantly bombarded with mail asking for making, or getting phone calls. The newsletter is factual without being alarmist. I bought the slide set years ago and made some rounds with them doing talks. Snows are my favorite big cat and I think ISLT has made a difference. They offer some nice items and also the adoptions. My cats like the mice although they destroy them in short order.
Since research is in a hostile environment, it makes sense to ask for money to help the researchers and research out. Education is key and they help with that.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Snow Leopard Trust and the Snow Leopard Conservancy are lean, efficient organizations that have been working to protect snow leopards in the wild since 1991. They are currently making great strides by focusing on protection and conservation rather than continuing to gather data that already exists.
The local people who live in and around the snow leopard range countries are completely involved in many ways and are supported by the snow leopard organizations.