I just received a notification from the Snow Leopard Trust about an exciting new development. Nearly 8,163 square kilometers of land is about to be turned into a Nature Reserve, a designation that will benefit both wildlife and local people.
Mining, hunting, and construction will be banned in this area; whereas traditional activities that do not significantly harm the environment (such as sustainable livestock grazing) will still be allowed. This is appropriate, because local people were major champions for the creation of this new protected area. They began working with the Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation back in 2008 to protect the Tost region in Mongolia, and their efforts have paid off.
Snow leopards (Panthera uncia) will also gain a great deal from the Nature Reserve. Tost is an important area for the species, because it is the location of one of the most important snow leopard studies to date. Additionally, it will connect the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park and the Great Gobi Protected Area, creating one of the world’s largest protected snow leopard habitats.
To learn more about this new Nature Reserve, please read the Snow Leopard Trust’s article on the topic. I would also recommend learning more about the Snow Leopard Trust. They are one of my favorite non-profit organizations, and are deserving of our support.