A few weeks ago I did a post on Rana Bayakci,the Program Coordinator for the Snow Leopard Network (SLN) in Seattle, USA and how she worked with Gregor the snow leopard at Woodland Park Zoo before he came to Melbourne where we all fell under his spell.
I wanted to share a bit of information about the Network as it does so much great work on snow leopard conservation. It’s really an inspiration for how people who share the same goal can achieve so much through global collaboration.
Rana, who started with the SLN in 2008 says “The main goal of our organisation is to implement the Snow Leopard Survival Strategy (SLSS), which was co-authored by several members of the SLN. The SLSS is a strategy for saving the endangered snow leopard through research, conservation actions, and establishing government action plans in snow leopard range countries.
“We started with 65 founding members in 2002 and we’ve grown to 324 members and counting, including 27 organisational members! Our membership includes leading snow leopard experts in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. “Our members are involved with all aspects of snow leopard research, conservation and education. They include 42 “affiliate” members who might not work directly in snow leopard conservation but are very interested in contributing to snow leopard conservation work.
“We would like to expand our membership to include everyone involved in snow leopard conservation in order to increase communication and continue to develop and share effective conservation, education, and research strategies.”
Rana is one of only two staff members of The SLN with Executive Director being Dr. Tom McCarthy (see my earlier post and video of Tom discussing snow leopard conservation in Kyrgyzstan). The rest of the work is done by dedicated volunteers, including the 6 members of the Steering Committee.
One of the important services the SLN provides its members is the Snow Leopard Bibliography, a database of scholarly articles on snow leopards, their habitat and research. I can imagine sharing knowledge of snow leopard behaviours, ecology etc amongst researchers helps all of them learn more and hopefully come up with better conservation strategies for the future of the animals and people sharing their habitat.
The SLN also hosts the annual Snow Leopard Conservation Grant Program, which supports education, research, or conservation projects on snow leopards.
You can see more about the SLN and join here.