Parco Natura Viva celebrates every year the International Snow Leopard Day, declared the 23rd of October 2014 by the 12 Asian countries that are home to the leopard. In this occasion the park organises educational activities and not only, to tell visitors about the snow leopard conservation project supported by Parco Natura Viva as the only Italian partner, and to raise awareness of the threats faced by this species and its natural habitat.
This year Parco Natura Viva is collaborating to the 4th
expedition organised by MUSE, supporting the financial purchase of other camera traps, that will be used to continue the survey on the number of individuals of snow leopard left on the Altai mountains. Furthermore, ARCA Foundation has signed an agreement directly with the Mongolian organization Green Initiative, contributing to covering some of the field costs for the expedition of this year. Parco Natura Viva keeps on supporting the community-based conservation programmes carried out by the Snow Leopard Trust. The park supports the Snow Leopard Trust in different ways: it contributes to funding the construction of leopard-proof fences in order to reduce the loss of livestock during the night, and in exchange local communities sign agreements to protect Snow Leopards. Furthermore, the park contributes to the educational projects dedicated to children, teaching them to know and protect these big cats. Parco Natura Viva organizes annually fund-raising events to allow visitors to know snow leopards and their habitat, and to raise awareness on the issues that threat their survival and to promote responsible behaviours.
Also this year the MUSE research team went a mission in Mongolia this year too, completing the third expedition and Parco Natura Viva did not fail to support the purchase of additional camera traps to be placed for the census of snow leopard individuals present in the Altai Mountains of the Tavan Bogd Natonal Park.
From the 1st
to the 22nd
of April 2017, the research team carried out the second expedition of the project, this time in the Tavan Bogd National Park, at the border with Russia and Mongolia where the Altai Mountains reach 4,300 meters. During this second expedition 60 camera traps were placed covering an area of about 1,200 km2 at an altitude between 2,400 and 3,600 meters. The encounters with snow leopards in the area were very low, raising concerns on the critical low density of presence of this species in this study area. Parco Natura Viva purchased a total of … camera traps for this second expedition.
The first expedition of the Italian researchers, guided by the zoologist and conservation biologist Francesco Rovero, was carried out in spring 2015, during which 600 km2 were sampled in the Siilkhem B National Park; 49 camera traps were positioned reaching 3,200 meters in altitude. In this occasion the movements and traces of 3 individuals were identified, each with a very precise territory, taken in 17 shots. Parco Natura Viva has contributed to the study purchasing 10 camera traps that were donated to the project and that arrived in Mongolia already in February. Parco Natura Viva supported the #savesnowleo campaign of the Snow Leopard Trust, informing the public and raising funds for the projects dedicated to local communities, the only ones that can guarantee the safeguarding of the ecosystems necessary for the survival of this species.