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  • marcia sivek

Indigenous Cultures for Conservation: Land of the Snow Leopard Network

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

The Spiritual and Cultural Practitioners and participants of the Fire Ceremony 2017 Photo Credit: Nicolas Villaume

Hello everyone I am happy to be back with another show about the Land of the Snow Leopard Network. I interviewed Darla Hillard of the Snow Leopard Conservancy and Maria Azhunova, the newly elected leader of the Land of the Snow Leopard Network.

Maria Azhunova. Photo Credit: Rinchin Garmaev-Project Manager of Baikal Buryat Center for Indigenous Cultures

Darla Hillard, Snow Leopard Conservancy's Education Director

Last year I interviewed the founder of the Snow Leopard Conservancy, Dr. Rodney Jackson where he explained what is happening in conservation of these cats. Today’s topic is more about the people coming together to not only protect these cats but protect their traditions.

The Land of Snow Leopard Network spans across the countries of Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. As you can imagine this area is diverse in tradition, culture and political views. The Land of the Snow Leopard Network shares the voices of local stewards working in the same areas where snow leopards reside. In these indigenous communities the snow leopard is a symbol of endurance and indicator of the health of the high mountain ecosystems.

Protectors and stewards of the land in each country are coming forward, reviving spiritual and cultural practices while educating their communities about the importance of saving the snow leopard. So I hope you enjoy this episode as Darla and Maria share their stories and the work they are doing. Below is the audio of our Skype interview:

Please visit the following websites for more information on the work of the Land of the Snow Leopard:

Video of Firuz Davlatmahmadov's brave capture and release of a snow leopard after it killed his livestock:

Snow Leopard in Tajikistan. Photo Credit: Sarkori Davlatmamadov - Head of the Wildlife Club in Bartang Valley

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