On the night of March 19, 2016, Tsewang Norbu, a villager from Matho, Ladakh looked out of his window to see, with horror - a snow leopard circling the his livestock pen. After several unsuccessful attempts to break in, however, the snow leopard walked away. A few hours later, Norbu heard a commotion and realized that the snow leopard had attacked, not his, but his neighbour’s livestock pen and made off with a calf!

Norbu's special predator-proof corral protected his livestock from the snow leopard that night.

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Facilitates workshops

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Contributes towards the construction of predator-proof
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Tsewang Norbu is among the many villagers in Matho, who, in September 2015, took possession of one of the special predator-proof corrals, constructed and handed over to members of the local community by WWF-India and the Department of Wildlife Protection, Jammu & Kashmir. These new corrals would safeguard villagers' livestock from snow leopard attacks. This, in turn, would help prevent the killing of snow leopards by angry herders in retaliation to attacks.

SURVIVING IN THE HIMALAYAS

High up in the Himalayas in Ladakh, where food and water resources are scarce, survival is an everyday battle for local communities. With agriculture possible only for a short period of four months in these cold desert regions, people depend heavily on raising cattle for their livelihood.

To reduce this stress on the local communities as well as on the wildlife in this region – and to manage human-wildlife conflict, WWF-India along with the Department of Wildlife Protection, Jammu and Kashmir, formally handed over 14 predator-proof corrals to the local communities of three villages in Ladakh – Tuna, Matho and Yangthang. The villagers now own and maintain these specially designed enclosures that provide full protection to their livestock from snow leopards.

THE REASON FOR HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT

Shy and elusive by nature, snow leopards typically keep away from human habitation, confining themselves to the higher altitudes of the Himalayas. However, as the animal’s prey base and habitat is getting increasingly and directly affected by human activities, snow leopard attacks on domestic animals such as yaks, cows, dzos, sheep and goats, have become more frequent in the past few years in Ladakh. According to studies conducted by WWF-India in the past decade, attacks on livestock by wild predators such as the snow leopard, black bear and wolves have increased sharply, leading to increased conflict between humans and snow leopards in the region.

MANAGING CONFLICT WITH ECONOMICAL AND SMART CORRALS

Smartly designed and constructed by WWF-India's experienced field team in consultation with local communities, the corrals are not only structured to be predator-proof but are also gradually reducing villagers’ resentment towards the predator and making local communities more optimistic.



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Our Work for Snow Leopard Conservation

From conflict to coexistence

In the western Himalayas, habitat degradation and loss of their natural wild prey bring snow leopards very close to human settlements which often result in predation on livestock - the only source of income for the local community. As a result, hundreds of cattle have been killed in the high altitude Himalayan region of Ladakh. In the past, this resulted in snow leopards being killed in retaliation. Regular interaction and snow leopard conservation awareness programmes for local communities has helped reduce retaliatory killing and hunting of the snow leopard.

From NONE to 100 predator proof pens Protecting livelihood

When a snow leopard enters an unprotected sheep enclosure, as many as 15 sheep can die, mostly because of heart failure. Imagine losing an entire herd of cattle that is your only source of income. Our predator-proof pens are working. 50 predator-proof pens that have been installed in conflict hotspots - villages like Tuna, Matho & Yangthang and have resulted in ZERO cattle deaths and ZERO snow leopard kills.

30,000 sq kms of snow leopard habitat surveyed

Extensive scientific surveys have been completed in the villages of Matho, Shang, Taro, Stok, Phey, Fiang, Kheroo, Tambis, Khagral, Umba and Khanji in the harsh terrains of Ladakh, Kargil, Jammu & Kashmir with a vision to ensure that the Himalayas remain a healthy ecosystem. Today, our extensive scientific surveys in harsh terrains like Kargil, Leh, Ladakh have helped us build plans to protect snow leopards' homes while safeguarding local livelihoods.

NO Retaliatory killing of the snow leopard

In villages where we have installed the predator proof pens, there has been no report of cattle kills have been reported and as a result retaliatory killing of the snow leopard has dropped to Zero.

Every species saved is a win for future generations. #NurtureNature

The mentioned asks are to illustrate the impact your donation can make towards our conservation initiatives.
Based on pressing priorities, WWF- India may allocate donations received to other area/s where they are most needed.

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